Thursday 17 April 2014

FAI plans to host 2020 matches

The Sports Minister Michael Ring has welcomed the news that plans are far advanced within the FAI for Ireland to host a series of matches in the European Soccer Championships of 2020.

The Sunday Independent has learnt that the FAI is poised to put together a proposal to see Ireland host the European Championships in soccer.

It is believed the proposal is "far advanced and is expected to be unveiled in the new year''. Mr Ring told the Sunday Independent: "This will have the full support of the Government; it is a very realistic proposal.

Significantly, it is believed hosting the 2020 championships would not entail significant costs for Ireland since "most of the funding is provided by UEFA''.

Ireland would not be hosting the entire tournament, but a change in the format of the competition where the 2020 Euros will consist of eight groups of four means it is planned the initial group stages of the competition will be played across a number of countries.

It is unlikely Ireland would be hosting the semi- or quarter-finals, but it is anticipated that "we could host up to four or more of the group stage games".

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