Glasgow’s pitch for Euro 2020 host-city status is ready for kick-off
GLASGOW’S bid to become a Euro 2020 host city will take a major step forward this week when the Scottish Football Association makes its pitch to UEFA for a package of games.
If successful, Glasgow would stage a group section or matches in the knockout stage.
The decision to spread the finals across up to 13 cities is to mark the 60th anniversary of the first European Championship. Glasgow boasts three stadiums with capacities of 50,000 or higher and is in a strong position to be a venue for one of the groups, a selection of the eight second round matches, and/or one or two quarter-finals.
Campbell Ogilvie, the SFA president, will head to UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland for a meeting this week that will see him pressing Glasgow’s case for host-city status, an announcement on which will be made in May. “I can’t say too much about the criteria at the moment but I am on the working group for it,” Ogilvie said.
“Thursday’s meeting will be another at which the criteria is discussed but there will be packages you can bid for. [They will fall into] group games, later games, the semi-final and final [the semis and final will be played in the same city, the latter in a stadium with a 70,000-plus capacity]. Criteria and the packages are still to be finalised but, after the executive committee agreed to go down this route, it is all about making it happen.
“UEFA wanted to open the tournament up across Europe but, with the capacities issue, it will be limited as to how many countries can bid for it. Previously, you have needed so many 30,000-capacity stadiums, so many 40,000-capacity stadiums and so many 50,000-capacity stadiums. It will open it up to more countries but there are a lot of logistical problems.”
Glasgow is one of the few cities in Europe with three stadiums that can hold more than 50,000, Hampden and Ibrox on that mark with Celtic Park a 60,000-seat arena. It would seem unlikely. then, that UEFA, after Hampden’s successful hosting of the 2002 Champions League final and the 2007 UEFA Cup and with Scotland having an ally in president Michel Platini, would overlook Scotland’s football capital as a site for a unique tournament.
The pan-continental Euro 2020 will be a one-off rather than a model of future events. Spreading the tournament around several cities should ease the logistical and financial pressures of staging the event in just one or two countries.