Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Republic of Ireland could have Euro 2020 bid role

Football

Scotland and Wales are considering a dramatic late bid to host Euro 2020, possibly involving the Republic of Ireland as well.

UEFA's deadline for formal expressions of interest is midnight at the end of Tuesday and so far only Turkey have come forward to confirm they are bidding.

Officials at the Scottish and Welsh FAs have refused to confirm or deny that a bid will be submitted but sources said talks about bidding have taken place. The expansion of the tournament to 24 teams means that they would need a third country to provide the necessary number of top-class stadiums which is where Ireland would come in.

A source told the Press Association: "Discussions have taken place about bidding but we would not be able to bid alone. It may need to be three countries involved."

A final decision is expected to be taken by the boards of the FAs involved on Tuesday.

UEFA president Michel Platini had signalled he would support Turkey's bid but only if Istanbul failed in its bid to land the Olympics in the same year.

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan confirmed the idea of bidding for Euro 2020 had been discussed.

Regan told www.insidethegames.biz: "I'm not able to comment publicly at this stage because it has not gone to our board but there will be an exchange of correspondence before the deadline.

"It's obviously something that has been discussed."

Asked if Scotland and Wales would be able to meet the UEFA criteria for stadiums, Regan replied: "There are other ways of skinning a cat and alternative ways of being considered for a major tournament."

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