Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Poland and Ukraine have surprisingly beaten off Italy (and less, surprisingly, Hungary and Croatia) to win the right to host Euro 2012. Just as with Austria and Switzerland next year, two exceptionally uninspiring teams have a direct ticket to the finals. Rumours that Steve Staunton has already revised his four-year-plan to a six-year one to concentrate on these finals remain unconfirmed; in any case the FAI's efforts to make it easier for him by getting UEFA to agree to extending the finals to 24 teams, have failed for the time being. Michel Platini's pledge to do more to help football in Eastern Europe seems now to have been delivered upon. Platini has also said that he wants to return to the practice of presenting trophies in the stands, rather than on the field, as has been the case in recent years, something that Old Football devotee Seanachie fully supports. And make them give us a few words as Gaeilge as well.