We have to remember that although the Scotland-Ireland bid for EURO2008 is one of the favourites, there are others in the same position. We thought we should look at some of the stadiums that the Nordic 2008 bid will be presenting to the 14 man Executive Committee of UEFA on 11th December.
On that day, each of the seven bidders will be given 15 minutes to make their final presentations. No sporting or professional presenters are allowed. This will be followed by 15 minutes of questions. This should allow the committee to make their minds up on which bids will go through to the final stage when they meet again on the 12th December. Only eight members will get a vote in the first stage as nobody from a country involved in a bid is allowed a vote. It is expected that the top two or perhaps three bids will go forward for a second or indeed a third vote.
We found details of some of the grounds that will be forwarded by the Nordic 2008 bid. This is a joint bid from Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. They also have the Faroe Islands and Iceland involved although these two countries will not host any games.
Råsunda Stadium, Stockholm
Due to host 3 group games: Capacity in 2008-41,530 seats
Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg
Due to host, 3 group matches, Quarter-final, Semi-final and Final: Capacity in 2008-60,650 seats
Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo
Due to host 3 group matches and a quarter-final. Capacity in 2008-31,240 seats
All the Nordic Prime Ministers are still happy to back Nordic 2008 and discuss the project on a regular basis. Their most recent meeting ended with the Finnish Prime Minister, Paavo Lipponen, commenting with a wide smile: "We have discussed the Nordic 2008 project once again and we would like to reconfirm our full support for the project."
When they talk of full support they mean financial sustainability, financial guarantees for stadiums, safe and secure final tournament and responsible final tournament. This is quite a combination to better. I am glad that Scandinavian Lennart Johansson, President of the UEFA Executive Committee and Per Ravn Omdal, Vice-President of the UEFA Executive Committee (who is also President of the Norwegian Football Association) will not have a say in which bids make the cut. It could be that they will not have a say in who gets the final nod. Well, not a direct say anyway.