UEFA have confirmed that countries will still be able to bid for Euro 2020 - even if they did not declare an interest before yesterday’s deadline.
The declarations of interest were made before the deadline – from Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland jointly, plus potential solo bids from Turkey and Georgia.
UEFA said they will now launch a new process which will allow any of the 53 member associations to submit a bid. The European body only confirmed that “some national associations” had expressed their interest in bidding but did not reveal any names of countries involved.
“UEFA will now launch a formal process which will allow any of its 53 members associations to submit their candidature, irrespective of whether or not they declared a preliminary interest in hosting the 24-team competition,” said UEFA.
The bidding process will last approximately 18 months. A decision on the Euro 2020 hosts is expected at the beginning of 2014.
Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan has revealed that UEFA have put on record for the first time that they will consider bids for the European Championships from more than two countries as multiple tournament hosts.
That assurance, and the enticing opportunity of a real chance in a bidding contest, led to Scotland, Wales and Ireland throwing their hat in the ring.
Regan insisted there had been no attempt by UEFA to persuade the Celtic nations to declare an interest to prevent a situation where Turkey looked likely to be the only candidate.
He said: “The only encouragement was in the letter from UEFA that came out to all the associations with the acknowledgement that bids from more than two countries would be considered – that was the first time that had been put on record.
“It’s now a case of deciding whether it’s a goer or not. So far this is just an expression of interest.”