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Dec 5, 2012

Associations back multi-host Euros plan

Proposals for the 2020 European Championship to be held in multiple countries across the continent moved a step closer as European football association leaders backed the idea.

UEFA president Michel Platini put forward the suggestion of a multi-host tournament during the summer, and European football's governing body could agree to back the plan in principle when it meets on Thursday.

Wolfgang Niersbach, the president of the German FA, said the plan - which could see up to 13 countries playing host to the Euros - had been backed at meetings of UEFA's 53 member associations.

"This is the general trend around these meetings," Niersbach told the Associated Press. "[It is felt] UEFA should do it as an exception on the occasion of celebrating the 60th birthday of the European Championship."

His Georgian counterpart, Domenti Sichinava, said: "We had a few meetings around Europe, and many countries are supporting this idea."

If UEFA supports the plan on Thursday, the next step could be the commissioning of a report on how it would best be implemented.

The plan would also mean countries that would never be likely to host the tournament either on their own or in partnership with another nation would have the opportunity to play a part.

"We feel that a lot of small countries should have a chance,'' Harry Been, who was the chief executive of a joint bid by the Netherlands and Belgium to host the 2018 World Cup, said.

"Romania is a good example. They have built a new, big stadium, and they will never get a tournament like that by themselves."

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