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Rediff.com  » Sports » Scotland, Wales mull co-hosting Euro 2016

Scotland, Wales mull co-hosting Euro 2016

December 03, 2008 20:01 IST

Scotland and Wales have held "tentative talks" about the possibility of hosting the European soccer championship in 2016, the Scottish FA said on Wednesday.

Officials from Northern Ireland are also expected to be included in further discussions at the end of February as the three British associations explore the possibility of hosting the tournament in eight years time.

"To suggest that we are planning to launch a bid is wide of the mark, but we have had tentative talks with the Welsh and further talks are planned with Northern Ireland when the International Board meets in Belfast at the end of February," a Scottish FA spokesman said.

"We all know none of us can stage a 24-team tournament as it will be in 2016 but we are exploring the possibility of co-hosting."

UEFA, European soccer's governing body, decided in September to increase the number of finalists from 16 to 24 teams from 2016.

UEFA's general secretary David Taylor, himself a Scot who was part of an unsuccessful bid to bring Euro 2008 to Scotland and Ireland, said Scotland would be a "great place" to hold the tournament.

"It would be terrific," he told The Herald newspaper in Glasgow. "But I must be careful here. My enthusiasm for and advice to any country could be perceived in the wrong way. Many countries in UEFA are capable of hosting the tournament."

Three of the last four European championships have been co-hosted with Belgium and Netherlands staging Euro 2000, Austria and Switzerland hosting this year's championship and Ukraine and Poland due to co-host the event in 2012.

Portugal were sole hosts in 2004 although UEFA have admitted that increasing the number of finalists to 24 teams will limit the number of countries who could host the tournament on their own in the future.

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