FA's Euro 2020 games bid goes ahead
The Football Association is to press on with its bid for England to host the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final, despite Istanbul having become a strong favourite to stage them.
Because the Turkish city failed in its bid to host the Olympics in the same year, it has become the front-runner to host the last four in a tournmanent taking place in multiple countries.
UEFA president Michel Platini had said he would back Turkey for Euro 2020 if the Istanbul Olympic bid fell through.
But the FA confirmed it had nevertheless declared its interest in hosting either the semi-finals and final at Wembley or winning a 'standard' package of three group games and a knock-out round match.
With Euro 2020 set to be staged in 13 cities across the continent, England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland have all put themselves forward as contenders to stage games.
FA general secretary Alex Horne said: "UEFA's 'Euro for Europe' in 2020 promises to be a fitting way to recognise 60 years of the UEFA European Championship.
"We would be delighted for London and Wembley Stadium to be chosen to host either of the two packages available, and we look forward to working with UEFA on the forthcoming selection process."
But he warned: "Many countries have also put themselves forward as hosts, and we expect this to be a very competitive bidding process."
Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has also confirmed there is interest in holding games in Glasgow.
“We have confirmed our expression of interest to UEFA and have nominated Glasgow as a potential host city,” Regan said. “Hampden has a proud place in the history of the game going back to the legendary European Cup final between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960, and more recently hosting two memorable finals between Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League final in 2002 and the all-Spanish UEFA Cup final between Sevilla and Espanyol.
“I am aware that 32 members have also expressed an interest, including ourselves, England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. I believe we have a great opportunity, especially if Great Britain and Ireland could become a hub, which would ensure ease of planning and travelling for supporters.
“We will now continue our discussions with the relevant parties but it would be fitting if Scotland can not only take part in the tournament but be a host city in what would be the culmination of our strategic plan, Scotland United: A 2020 Vision.”
Platini said: "We are extremely proud to see the huge interest in the bidding process, with more than half of our member associations willing to host matches at UEFA Euro 2020."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.