EURO2008 Contenders Still Being Encouraged

Last updated : 21 October 2002 By Ed_ScottishFitba

Greek FA logo
The diplomacy of the official delegation from UEFA which is touring the EURO2008 bidders knows no bounds. With each visit taking up to 5 days, they must also have some stamina. With each bid considered, the touring party has to say something positive for the final press conference. With each valedictory statement praising the bid to the highest, I am not sure how UEFA will be able to cut the seven bidders down to three let alone pick one in December. The latest bid to get praised is the one from Greece and Turkey. A press conference in the northern city of Salonika was the venue for Jabob Erel, a UEFA Director, to say: "I don't want to make any promises but I can say that the Greek-Turkish file was almost perfect. The aim of this visit was to check that the reality matches up to what was in the candidate's proposal, and we've found that it does."

Turkey FA logo
This was just what the head of the Greek football federation, Vassilis Gagatsis, wanted to hear. Understandably upbeat about their chances, Gagatsis predicted: "
I reckon we've managed to convince the UEFA representatives" Greek sports minister Evangelos Venizelos meanwhile called on UEFA to take on board the political importance of a bid from two neighbours traditionally perceived as regional rivals. Venizelos said the bid "underlines the wish of two countries to use sport to build a bridge of friendship and cooperation".

Olympic Stadium Athens
Following the 3rd official meeting of the Greece – Turkey EURO 2008 Bidding Committee, the two countries delegates agreed on the cities to host the football festival and welcome visitors from all over Europe and beyond. Those are: Opening ceremony and tournament’s first match in Istanbul. Final match in Athens.

1) Istanbul Olympic Stadium: 80,000

2) Athens Olympic Stadium: 75,290

3) Izmir Atatürk Stadium: 51,750

4) Thessaloniki Kaftanzoglio Stadium: 43,720

5) Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu
Stadium: 60,000

6) Antalya Stadium: 40,600

7) Heraklion Pankrition Stadium: 33,240

8) Patras Pampeloponissiako Stadium: 32,740

Antalya Stadium
Much like how Scotland have wheeled our Sir Alex Ferguson to support the joint Scotland-Ireland bid, the greece-Turkey bid is supported by their sporting heroes. The star of the Turkish National Football Team Hasan Sas said that the time of Greece and Turkey’s co-hosting the Euro 2008 has already come. Hasan Sas said: "
The efforts of both countries in the recent years and the successes they got shall not be undervalued. Considering also the contribution of our joint-bid to the World Peace I think that we already deserve to host this important tournament. And I believe if this chance will be given to us with Greece we will organize the best tournament ever."

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