UEFA: Scotland can only joint-host a major finals

October 11, 2008

UEFA general secretary David Taylor has told his native Scotland they could still host an expanded European Championships - but only as part of a joint bid.

The former Scottish Football Association chief executive believes last month's decision to increase the number of finalists from 16 to 24 in 2016 was in the country's best interests, as it gives them an improved chance of qualifying.

But the move - which was also lobbied for by current SFA chief Gordon Smith - effectively ended Scotland's dream of staging the showpiece event on their own due to a lack of facilities.

Taylor, who devised the new format along with the Republic of Ireland's John Delaney before joining UEFA, insists that should not deter them from linking up with one of the other home nations.

``Scotland clearly couldn't do it by themselves, but there's nothing to rule out a joint bid,'' he said in the Daily Record.

Indeed, Taylor expects the number of joint bids to increase in the future, pointing out only England, France, Spain, Italy and Germany are equipped to be hosts in their own right.

He added: ``There would be less candidates to potentially act as host because we'd need more stadiums, possibly 10 rather than eight, so it is a step up in terms of organisation.''

Taylor claims a larger tournament is justified, saying: ``Look at the sides who didn't make it to Euro 2008, like England, Scotland, Denmark and Ukraine. All these countries would add to the spectacle.

``If you also consider what the fans of these nations would have brought then you would have a much bigger festival of football.

``A number of the sections were very tight and if the third teams in the group qualified, it would not have diminished the finals.''