Nordic 2008

By Ed_ScottishFitba
Last updated : 11 December 2002

The bid with the largest number of countries involved is the Nordic 2008 bid. Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland have combined to launch a strong bid. The Nordic 2008 nations have always been well connected, and their clubs regularly compete alongside the best teams in European competition. The region has a proud football heritage, and both Sweden and Denmark reached the last 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

They already boast eight stadiums around the region which can handle the tournament. The 60,000-capacity Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg would host the final while the recently rebuilt Parken stadium in Copenhagen is well-equipped to host one of the semi-finals. Across the city is Brψndby stadium, which will be expanded in preparation for the tournament. The Olympic stadium in Helsinki, which regularly hosts international matches, is an impressive venue set in picturesque surroundings. Of course, the Ratina stadium in Tampere which played host to five games in the 1952 Olympic games will have to o be totally reconstructed. Oslo, the Norwegian capital, is home to the modern Ullevεl stadium, which is also a regular international football venue. Elsewhere in Norway, the brand new Lerkendal stadium in Trondheim has held UEFA Champions League football for the last seven consecutive seasons. In Stockholm, the Rεsunda stadium will also be renovated in time for the tournament. So much for them being ready now to host the tournament !

Parken stadium
There is not much you can say against the infrastructure in the four partners. They work on so much together as a group that they are often considered as one country. They have experience of hosting top flight championships thanks to Sweden's successful hosting of EURO1992. It can be taken for granted that he facilities in all four countries are first-rate. All eight stadiums will be top-class international venues by the time of the event, with excellent transport links, and several of them within walking distance of the nearby city centres. The professional status of the domestic leagues in all four countries mean that quality training facilities are already in place to ensure that visiting teams enjoy the best possible pre-match preparation.

With four capital cities involved in this bid, there is a wealth of culture to be enjoyed. All seven cities where games will take place are by watersides, and each offers a unique experience for visitors. Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki and Stockholm combine international experience with local culture, but all seven venues deserve to be explored.

Sven-Gφran Eriksson, the Swedish coach of the England international football team, is fully behind the Nordic bid. The England coach said: "
The tournament will be played in June. The mild climate in the Nordic countries in that time of the year is absolutely perfect for the performances of the players, and will assure that the football quality of the tournament will be at highest possible level." The bid also has the full backing of all four Nordic prime ministers. Now that may be the bid's undoing. There are in fact 6 countries involved, with Iceland and the Faroe Island invited to help where they can (they will not host and games). This means 6 FAs, 6 governments and 4 police forces have to be involved in negotiations with UEFA. A recipe for disaster as far as I am concerned.

However, Goran Havik, representative of the Nordic 2008 bid said: "
It (a successful bid) would further increase the popularity of this wonderful sport. Attendances in Sweden have gone up 200 per cent in the last ten years and winning would mean bringing Europe's finest party to our spectators. Winning would allow us to improve our stadiums, but most of all, it is the only chance for small countries to host an event like this for a long time. We have exported so many good players all over Europe that I think we deserve it."


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Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba.net)
Vanderhogg (vanderhogg@scottishfitba.net)

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Al McIntosh (Al@scottishfitba.net)

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