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Positive news for FAI's Euro 2020 bid after UEFA review

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The FAI have won their bid to host three Euro 2020 group matches and one round of 16 fixture to the Aviva Stadium. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

The FAI have won their bid to host three Euro 2020 group matches and one round of 16 fixture to the Aviva Stadium. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

The FAI have won their bid to host three Euro 2020 group matches and one round of 16 fixture to the Aviva Stadium. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

THE FAI have received a boost in their bid to stage Euro 2020 after receiving a positive evaluation from UEFA ahead of next Friday's announcement.

European football's governing body are breaking with tradition by dividing the competition between 13 nations around the continent and the FAI have lodged a proposal to bring three group matches and one round of 16 fixture to the Aviva Stadium.

UEFA yesterday published their delegation's assessment of the respective entries.

A total of 19 countries have lodged bids, including England, Scotland and Wales, and UEFA have indicated they will aim for a regional spread. England are tipped to secure the semi-finals and final package but at least one of the other nations could miss out.

Scotland received a mixed review and next week's independence referendum could also complicate their position.

That would help the FAI's cause. In truth, the only major flaw highlighted by the UEFA review is concerns about a lack of adequate parking around Ballsbridge.

"It only partly meets UEFA's requirements in terms of accessibility as it does not offer enough parking spaces at the stadium or close by," says the report.

REQUIREMENTS

They add that there are technical and telecom requirements which need to be met in addition to the construction of requisite media facilities to tie in with major tournament standards.

However, Dublin's hotel capacity is praised, while the staging of the 2011 Europa League final is referenced as a major advantage under a number of headings.

UEFA add that the present and future capacity of Dublin Airport would be 'just sufficient' to satisfy demand, adding that the 'nearby' airports of Cork and Shannon could also help.

The FAI, who worked with the government and Dublin City Council on the proposal, have also been aided by the DAA's commitment to authorise night-flights on match days.

"A very modern and multi-nodal transport system links Dublin Airport to the city centre and the stadium," UEFA add.

Another bonus with regard to dealing with visitors is a promise from the Irish Hotels Federation that room rates would 'conform to ordinary market rates without inflation as a result of Euro 2020.'

UEFA say that Scotland's commercial plans are 'inadequate' and 'lack clarity.'

They believe that Hampden Park only partly meets a number of conditions.

And if Scotland gains independence next Thursday - the day before UEFA's executive decides - they will have to provide assurances.

"Scotland being part of the UK, the legal situation is mostly - but not entirely - identical to that of England and Wales," says the evaluation.

"The situation may have to be re-assessed should Scotland become independent of the UK following the referendum."

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium ticks a lot of the boxes but UEFA inspectors point out that Wales could be reliant on the airports of Bristol, Birmingham and London Heathrow to hit targets.

They also score poorly in the area of accommodation.

In addition to the four countries from this part of the world, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Macedonia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain and Sweden are all hoping for good news from Geneva.

Irish Independent