EURO2008: Sports Minister press release

Last updated : 24 June 2002 By Ed_ScottishFitba

Mike Watson, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport today met with his counterpart, Dr. James McDaid, Irish Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation to discuss the possibility of a joint Scottish/Irish bid to host the EURO2008 Football Championships.

In their first formal meeting, held in Dublin, both Ministers agreed that the possibility of a joint bid represents an exciting opportunity for Sport and Tourism in both countries. They also agreed that by working closely together in the preparation of the bid they can ensure that these championships would be the best celebration of football ever seen in Europe.

Today's meeting saw Ministers building on the progress already made during discussions between the respective Government officials and the Football Authorities.

Among the issues discussed by the Ministers were:-

  • The timetable for the submission of the bid

  • The setting up of a joint steering group to oversee the bid process

  • UEFA's requirements for the bid

The Ministers will now report back to their respective Cabinets with a view to confirming their intention to support a joint bid by the respective Football Associations. Both sides will keep in regular contact and review progress on the bid leading up to UEFA's deadline of February 28th.

The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport said:

Today's meeting has allowed us to build on the positive talks held in the last fortnight between our respective government officials and football associations.

I am very comfortable with Dr McDaid's assurances that Ireland are in a position to deliver the two stadiums required to UEFA specifications by 2008. We agreed that the prospective bid represents an exciting opportunity for both countries. We must now discuss the way forward with our respective cabinets but I am confident that we will have a bid which goes forward by the UEFA deadlines and which will have a strong chance of winning.

With the groundwork already achieved in Scotland, supported by our Irish colleagues, we will make a very strong celtic bid which will be popular with UEFA and popular with visiting supporters."

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