FAI submits bid to host Euro 2020 games

Friday 25 April 2014 22.47
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The Aviva Stadium has a capacity of 51,700 and could play host to four games at Euro 2020
The Aviva Stadium has a capacity of 51,700 and could play host to four games at Euro 2020
The Republic of Ireland were knocked out of Euro 2012 at the group stages
The Republic of Ireland were knocked out of Euro 2012 at the group stages
Irish football fans have an excellent reputation across Europe
Irish football fans have an excellent reputation across Europe
Fan zones would be set up at the IFSC and Merrion Square
Fan zones would be set up at the IFSC and Merrion Square

The Football Association of Ireland has submitted a bid for Dublin to become a host city for the European Championship in 2020.

If the Government-backed bid is successful it would see four games played at the Aviva Stadium on what will be the 60th anniversary of the tournament.

The FAI sent a detailed document to UEFA that aims to make Dublin one of the 13 host cities of Euro 2020.

Just under 30 countries want to be part of the prestigious competition and the successful applicants are set to be announced in September.

The tournament is usually held in one or two countries every four years, but European football's governing body has decided to stage a "EURO for Europe" in 2020.

The capacity of 51,700 at the Aviva Stadium means the stadium, which opened in 2010, could host three group games and a last-16 game.

UEFA said stadia with a capacity of 60,000 will be considered for the quarter-finals, while a minimum capacity of 70,000 is required for the semi-finals and final, which will be played in the same venue.

The FAI has been in close contact with the Government ahead of the bid and has had meetings at Government Buildings recently.

Dublin City Council has also pledged its full support for the move that has seen the FAI answer 400 questions asked by UEFA.

The quality of the stadia is important for UEFA and the facilities at the Aviva means there is confidence the bid can meet the necessary requirements.

The stadium hosted the 2011 Europa League final between Portuguese sides Porto and Braga.

Irish football fans' good reputation and the two terminals at Dublin Airport are also seen as positives.

If Dublin gets the green light, there is also a commitment to set up large zones for fans that would include George's Dock at the IFSC and Merrion Square.

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney said: "I would like to thank all of the Dublin Bid partners who have worked extremely hard to submit a strong bid for UEFA EURO 2020.

"The support of National Government and Dublin City Council has been crucial.

"Competition for the bid will be very strong but we are confident that all of the stakeholders involved in the Dublin Bid have presented a compelling case for Dublin’s inclusion at UEFA EURO 2020."

The Republic of Ireland played at the last European Championship in Poland and Ukraine two years ago, but they exited the tournament at the group stages without winning a game.

France will host the next European Championship in 2016, the qualifying draw for which was held earlier this year.

Ireland have been grouped with Germany, Poland, Scotland, Georgia and Gibraltar.