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Forum moderated by: m1, m2, m3, m4, m5, m6

Gemmills Goal

Here's a wee tale from today's news...


Scotland’s chances of co-hosting football’s European Championships in 2008 were greatly boosted by the success of the Champions League final, a senior Uefa executive said today.
The remarks came the day after almost a billion people worldwide watched Spanish giants Real Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Gerhard Aigner, Uefa chief executive, said the success of the showpiece final would enhance Scotland’s joint bid with Ireland to stage Euro 2008.
The bid team also praised the organisation of the final saying it proved Scotland could successfully stage a major international sporting event.
Aigner told BBC Radio Scotland: “There is a great enthusiasm for football in Scotland and Scottish people seem to be proud to host international events.
“We have been here before of course and we have been away for far too long, I would say.
“I was personally very happy to be back for this event.”
Asked if last night’s match would enhance the Euro 2008 bid, Mr Aigner said: “Yes. I think it does help. It has proven that we do get excellent co-operation.”
His comments were welcomed by Simon Lyons, marketing director of the joint bid, who said he was delighted that everything went according to plan for the final.
He said: “It was a wonderful final. We could not have hoped for a better match and it was the one thing we could not control.
“The police, the transport network and the city as a whole responded brilliantly to the challenge of staging the match.
“Last night really proved Scotland is capable of hosting a major tournament.”
First Minister Jack McConnell agreed that the game would have helped Scotland’s hopes of co-hosting the 2008 event.
“It was an excellent game and a real spectacle for Glasgow and for Scotland,” he said.
“It showed our ability to organise major events and get onto the international scene and prove that we can do it.”
Mr McConnell went on: “We have been very careful this week not to lobby for our bid, because that would have been wrong on the occasion.
“But I’m sure that everybody from Europe who was there last night or watched on TV will have seen that not only can we organise a good football match and provide good facilities – but we provide the best hospitality in the world.
“That message came over loud and clear in Glasgow last night.”
Scottish tourist bosses also praised the smooth-running of the final, which was worth more than £22 million to the local economy.
A spokeswoman for VisitScotland said: “This event proved to the world that Scotland can stage major events, sporting and others, as well as, if not better than, any other country.
“We have received very positive feedback to the event and know this will greatly help our Euro 2008 bid.”
Police continued with their praise of fans who attended the game and others who congregated in the city streets to join in a footballing party.
A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said there was no serious trouble and described the atmosphere in the city as “fabulous”.
He said 63 arrests were made, mainly after the game, and that “only a couple” involved overseas fans.
The majority were for minor offences, mostly alcohol-related, away from Hampden, he added.
Chief Superintendent Campbell O’Connell, head of operations at Strathclyde Police, said: “The atmosphere in Glasgow city centre was fabulous.
“I am absolutely delighted that football fans from Spain, Germany, Scotland and other countries mixed together so well to enjoy the football festival in the city.”


(Edited by Gemmills Goal at 11:45 am on May 16, 2002)

We're football fans first and foremost, hedonists, boozers, whatever - lets not lose sight of that.

Total Posts: 917 | Joined Jan. 2002 | Posted on: 11:45 am on May 16, 2002 | IP

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