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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 02:24 GMT 03:24 UK
Fergie backs Euro 2008 bid
Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson will act as an ambassador
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is set to be unveiled as ambassador for the joint Scottish/Irish bid to host the Euro 2008 football championships.

The appointment is expected to be confirmed at a media conference on Wednesday.

The final bid documents will also be signed and sent off to the European football authorities.

Euro 2008 bid logo
Eight stadia will be required for the bid
The document to be submitted to governing body Uefa will carry the endorsement of Sir Alex, who has also managed Aberdeen.

He will be involved in meetings to promote the bid to Uefa officials later this year.

Those behind the bid say his appointment will give the joint bid increased stature.

The re-election of Bertie Ahern as Irish Prime Minister earlier this month also delivered a boost for the campaign.

The Taoiseach is a big supporter of Irish involvement in the event and wants to see the creation of a new national stadium, which has been dubbed Bertie's Bowl.

Preparations praised

The case was further advanced by the success of the Champions League final at Hampden, where Real Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 earlier this month.

Uefa praised the National Stadium and Glasgow's preparations for the match.

It is expected that Ireland will provide two of the eight stadia required to host the tournament.

However, the document being signed on Wednesday will not specify which stadia will make up the final bid.

The final decision on who will host the tournament is due to be made in December by Uefa's executive committee.

Financial support

A joint Swiss-Austrian bid - which includes a new stadium in Basel - remains the front runner in a field of seven bids.

On Tuesday, the Russian government announced that it would give financial support for a bid to host the event.

The confirmation from Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov ended a lengthy stalemate prompted by doubts over how hosting the event could benefit the country financially.

Hungary is also mounting a solo bid, while there are other joint efforts from Bosnia-Herzegovina/Croatia and Greece/Turkey and a Nordic application encompassing Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

See also:

16 May 02 | Scotland
24 Apr 02 | Scotland
28 Feb 02 | Scotland
28 Feb 02 | Scotland
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