|While it is nice to hear supportive words, I am not sure what else we would have expected from a Scotsman when talking about the EURO2008 bid. As you know FIFA vice-president David Will hails from Brechin so it is not much of a surprise that he is backing the joint Scotland-Ireland bid to host EURO2008. Will claims Scotland and Ireland are equal with favourites Austria and Switzerland to win the race. There does appear to be a split already between the seven contenders and Will thinks that the two joint bids are in the leading group. Thankfully, it was not just blind optimism that prompted Will to support his home country’s bid. He knows how these things work. Will said: "I would put Scotland and Ireland joint favourites with Austria and Switzerland. These two are the strongest bids. The pendulum might swing our (Scotland and Ireland's) way even more when it is realised that a Swiss/Austrian championship would follow so closely after the World Cup in neighbouring Germany just two years before. I also believe we have an advantage in that we have a majority of very large capacity stadia which makes it attractive to UEFA. We will be providing six out of eight stadia with large capacities of 50,000 or more which makes it attractive from a financial perspective." |
One of the other favourite, Nordic 2008, linking the Scandinavian countries, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, may fall by the wayside due to the administrative problems of staging a tournament across four countries. True, they do have a large degree of influence within UEFA, but that may not hold sway this time. If UEFA were to vote for the Nordic2008 bid, it would mean EURO2008 games being played in one or even two countries that had not qualified for the finals. This could happen as only two countries from the joint bid would be eligible for automatic qualification. UEFA communications director Mike Lee confirmed the position when he said: "No bid can have more than two automatic qualifiers from host countries. That is enshrined in the schedules governing bid procedures." Is the pendulum swinging our way?