Scots ready to step in

The Scottish Football Association are eager to step into the breach if Poland and Ukraine are stripped of the 2012 European Championship finals.

UEFA yesterday warned the Polish government their interference in the country’s football association could threaten their hosting of the tournament.

The Polish football federation was suspended on Monday for allegedly failing to address corruption, and the government have appointed an administrator to run the organisation.

But UEFA and FIFA say they will not recognise the administrator – both take a firm line that there should be no political interference in national associations.

It is the latest problem to hit Poland and Ukraine, who were last week told they must speed up their preparations for the event and meet several conditions.

The SFA are monitoring the situation closely.

"Our position is straightforward," said SFA chief executive Gordon Smith.

"If, in the event of it being taken away from Poland and Ukraine, it was opened to bids, then we would seek to establish if a bid from us would be considered by UEFA.

"If the response was positive then we would undertake a feasibility study along with the Scottish government to decide if we would bid."

FIFA and UEFA will now work together to decide on the next steps and the matter will be brought up at the next FIFA executive committee meeting in Zurich on October 23 and 24.

William Gaillard, UEFA communications director and special adviser to president Michel Platini, yesterday said: "We are hoping we will be solving the problems before the end of October so it will not affect 2012.

"But if the problem is not solved and the Polish FA will not have ability to operate then it's a different ball game, and that opens all kinds of question marks around Euro 2012.

"The European Championships are administrated through the Polish and Ukrainian FAs, not their governments.

"If there is no legitimate Polish FA then we will not have a Euro in Poland."

Should Poland and Ukraine be stripped of the event and a fresh bidding process begin, the 2012 finals would be realistically Scotland's last chance to host the tournament.

Smith's campaign to have the the event expanded from 16 to 24 teams was successful last week.

The move increases Scotland's chances of qualifying for the finals, but the country lacks the infrastructure to host a 24-team tournament and would be forced to consider a joint bid in future.

More in this Section

All Blacks great Dan Carter returns to New Zealand to join Super Rugby side BluesAll Blacks great Dan Carter returns to New Zealand to join Super Rugby side Blues

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media

Porto resume with shock loss to FamalicaoPorto resume with shock loss to Famalicao

Karolina Pliskova wins as tennis returns in rainy PragueKarolina Pliskova wins as tennis returns in rainy Prague


Lifestyle

Paula Burns talks to five Irish designers embracing the latest fashion trend. Born out of necessity, with a whole lot of invention - it's the couture face mask.Face masks: Five Irish designers embracing the latest fashion trend

Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for ages...Ask Audrey: Are we supposed to envy the gowls in Normal People?

Harpers from Cork and beyond have been making the most of online interaction, and a 240-strong ensemble will perform O’Carolan’s ‘Fanny Power’ this weekend, writes Pet O’Connell.Harps for Hope makes online connections to form 240-strong ensemble

A revamp of Disco Pigs may be on hold, but Corcadorca have developed a new socially-distant work for the residents of various housing estates around Cork, writes Marjorie Brennan.Disco Pigs on hold but Corcadorca to go live for Cork Midsummer

More From The Irish Examiner