Scotland offers to step in as alternative hosts of Euro 2012

14:55, 05 June 2008
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If UEFA pull plug on Poland and Ukraine

The Scottish Football Association have asked to be considered as alternative hosts of the 2012 European Championship should Poland and Ukraine lose the honour, according to Mail Online.

UEFA president Michel Platini warned the co-hosts to intensify efforts to upgrade stadia, transport links and accommodation following his last visit to the two countries in February.  

Platini said his next assessment, which will take place early next month, would be "decisive".  

SFA chief executive Gordon Smith has told the former France manager Scotland would be keen to hold the finals should UEFA be forced to move them.  

But he admits there is no guarantee Scotland would be able to stage it after reports claimed they were in the frame.  

"We have asked to be considered but we are not on any standby list and we weren`t told we would be getting the tournament or we would be considered for the tournament even, if Poland and Ukraine don`t get it," Smith told BBC Radio Scotland. 

"All we asked for was that we would like to be considered should they not be given the tournament or the tournament be taken away from them.  

"That`s where we left it with Michel Platini but to find out we are favourites if Poland and Ukraine don`t is quite a shock, because we would still have to look at the whole scenario and see whether we could do it."  

UEFA refused to say whether a stand-by list exists.  

A spokesman said: "There has never been a question of moving the tournament. The president will be there in July and then he will make a statement.  

"For the time being, we are fully concentrated on Euro 2008."   Scotland failed in a joint bid with the Republic of Ireland to stage this year`s finals and has only four stadia which meet UEFA`s criteria - Celtic Park, Ibrox, Hampden and Murrayfield.  

It emerged today though that Scotland was being lined up to host the 2008 tournament as Swiss officials struggled to force planning issues through several years ago. 

Christophe Bosshardt, head of Project Organisation Euro2008, told the Herald: "UEFA tried to push a little bit in the right direction and they told us Scotland would be happy and ready to take games if we didn`t fulfil our criteria.  

"They claimed the tournament would have moved there."  

Ukraine and Poland were the surprise choice of UEFA in April last year, beating favourites Italy and another joint bid from Croatia and Hungary.  

But they are some way off bringing all of the required eight stadia up to standard, and Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko recently accused sports ministry officials of "sabotage" after delays hit the renovation of Kiev`s Olympic Stadium.

Mail Online

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