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Thursday, 16 May, 2002, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Euro 2008 bid prospects lifted
Real Madrid fans in George Square
Real fans had plenty to cheer about even before the game
Scotland's prospects of co-hosting football's Euro 2008 tournament may have risen following the success of the Champions League final in Glasgow.

Uefa praised the National Stadium and Glasgow's preparations for the match, which Real Madrid won 2-1.

There were 63 arrests throughout the day and into the early morning, 13 of which were in or around Hampden.

All were for alcohol-related offences and there was no serious disorder, Strathclyde Police said.


It showed our ability to organise major events and get onto the international scene and prove that we can do it

Jack McConnell
First Minister

Uefa chief executive Gerhard Aigner told BBC Sport Online: "This would be an event to hold in a real football country that would guarantee the enthusiasm of the population, so we would feel very comfortable if it was to come here."

He said Uefa was "very happy" with the organisation shown by the Scottish authorities and he spoke warmly of Glasgow.

"You get more of a human touch in Glasgow than many other cities in Europe, it's a very special city.

Gerhard Aigner
Gerhard Aigner: "Human touch"

"The people are very receptive to people coming from elsewhere."

But he added a note of caution over security after two streakers were able to get onto the Hampden pitch during the game and hundreds of Real Madrid fans flooded on after the final whistle.

"I think we would have to speak to the security authorities to find concepts to stop this because we have to protect the game," he added.

"It didn't spoil things but it was the one little criticism I would have."

Range of criteria

Uefa's director of communications Mike Lee said: "It was a great event.

"We had great co-operation with the city council and the SFA and I think everybody enjoyed last night."

But he stressed that Wednesday night's match could not by itself win Scotland's case for co-hosting Euro 2008 with Ireland.

"You are not looking at one particular stadium and one particular event because Euro 2008 is a large tournament," he told BBC Radio Scotland.

Scotland/Ireland Euro 2008 logo
The logo for the Scotland and Ireland bid

"You look at the infrastructure, the quality of the stadia, the quality of transport and accommodation, the commitment given by the football and governmental authorities and a whole range of detailed criteria.

"I think everybody who was there last night and watching on television will have appreciated the venue was good."

Shortlisted candidates have to submit details to Uefa by the end of May. The formal handover of bids takes place in June and a final decision will be made in December.

Their comments were welcomed by Simon Lyons, marketing director of the joint bid, who said: "It was a wonderful final. We could not have hoped for a better match."

'Real spectacle'

Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell added: "It was an excellent game and a real spectacle for Glasgow and for Scotland.

"It showed our ability to organise major events and get onto the international scene and prove that we can do it."

Chief Superintendent Campbell O'Connell, who oversaw Strathclyde Police's plan, said: "The atmosphere in Glasgow city centre was fabulous.

A steward chases a fan on the pitch
A steward chases a fan on the pitch

"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.

"Supporters were good-humoured and well-behaved, although by the end of the night, I'm sure a few felt the onset of a hangover after over-indulging in Glasgow's hospitality."

He described as "a massive feat" officers' task in transferring more than 30,000 visiting supporters from airports and railway stations to Hampden.

Altogether 83 flights arrived in Glasgow, Prestwick and Edinburgh airports. Most of the visitors had left Scotland by 0600 BST on Thursday.

Of the 63 arrests, only a couple were travelling fans, Mr O'Connell added.

Council workers picked up 17 tonnes of rubbish after the match.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Uefa chief executive Gerhard Aigner
"Scottish people seem proud to hold international events"
Alan Mackay reports
"Uefa thought the night went well."

Real triumph

Our man in Glasgow

1960 revisited

SPORTS TALK

INTERNET LINK
See also:

15 May 02 | Champions League
16 May 02 | Scotland
15 May 02 | Scotland
14 May 02 | Scotland
24 Apr 02 | Scotland
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