Boost for Dublin's Euro 2020 hopes
THE chances of Ireland hosting games during the 2020 European Championship finals received a significant boost as UEFA confirmed that 13 cities in 13 different countries would host the tournament.
The FAI welcomed the news, having passed a motion for Dublin to bid to become one of the host venues earlier this week.
The decision that no country will be allowed to have two different venues at the tournament opens the door for smaller countries like Ireland. One country will host the semi-finals and final at venues with a minimum capacity of 70,000.
Lansdowne Road will be put forward as part of the bid,and it's size is just above the threshold of 50,000 needed for 10 of the stadia. There will be two stadia with capacities of more than 30,000.
Having confirmed that the tournament would be spread across the continent some months ago, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino explained how the host cities would work.
"The matches will be split into 13 packages – 12 cities who will have three group-stage matches and one knockout-round match, and one city will host the two semi-finals and final. There will be only one venue per country," he said.
Istanbul is the favourite to host the last four matches, but only if it loses its bid to host the Olympics in the same year. The decision on the host cities will be made in September.
Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse will host the 2016 Euro finals..
Meanwhile, a Cork City FC spokesman has rubbished claims that there was a strike threat from the club's players over the payment of wages for their upcoming Setanta Cup encounter with Cliftonville.