A recent poll by BBC Scotland showed that two thirds of Scots polled said their government should shelve plans to co-host Euro 2008 and instead spend the money on developing the game at grassroots level.
When the voting takes place, none of UEFA’s 14 executive committee members with a national interest will be allowed to vote until after their own country has been eliminated. Scotland and Ireland don’t have any executive members, but there’s a feeling abroad that if the Nordic bid by Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden fails then UEFA’s President Lennart Johansson who is from Sweden and the executive members from Norway and Iceland will vote for the Scottish/Irish bid.
But, really, the favorite to win is Austria/Switzerland and Croke Park should definitely be open up to other sports by 2012 when maybe we will bid again.
Meanwhile, there was no last-minute reprieve for the FAI from the GAA at their Central Council meeting on Saturday. The matter of opening up Croke Park to other sports was not even mentioned and it cannot be raised again until Congress in April. And the GAA has also turned down a request to stage a concert at Croker during next year’s World Special Olympics Games.
“Due to fears for the pitch, which still has to prove itself over a season and the residents’ concerns, it was decided to turn the application down,” said GAA director general Liam Mulvihill. The Association did however, pledge “some financial help” to the Special Olympics.
HAMILTON HELPS FAI
Former Northern Ireland manager Bryan Hamilton will assist the FAI in their search for a new manager. He will work with FAI president Milo Corcoran, treasurer John Delaney, and secretary Kevin Fahy to try to find a new man before the Feb. 1 deadline.
Hamilton was all set to become the FAI’s technical director five years ago but changed his mind at the last minute and opted to take up a job with Ipswich Town. Lately, Hamilton has been with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the MLS and has also been doing some media work.
Meanwhile, the FAI denied last week that they had approached Philippe Troussier to replace Mick McCarthy. An FAI spokesman said that it was Troussier who had contacted them to let them know he was interested in the Irish job. The 35-year-old Frenchman is currently recovering from a knee operation.
Troussier, who was Japan’s coach at this year’s World Cup, has also managed the Ivory Coast, Burkino Faso and Nigeria.
“When I finish my treatment in France, I will go back to my house in Morocco and should come to a decision about my future in January,” he told the BBC.
AUGUSTA IN PORTMARNOCK
The National Women’s Council are planning a campaign of protest at the choice of Portmarnock Golf Club to host next year’s Nissan Irish Open over its failure to admit female members. The council has urged B