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French call on Private sector to help Euro 2016 bid

Article Published: Wednesday 5 November 2008

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Eric Besson, the French minister charged with administering public projects, on Wednesday called on private investors to help in the country's bid to host the European Championships in 2016.

In a report Besson said it was vital "to encourage private investment in public stadia and to have recourse to public-private partnerships."

Besson stressed the need to increase the competitiveness of French sporting venues, adding that he wanted local government to "finance all or part the service and access roads to stadiums."

The report, wide ranging in scope, also recommends cutting the number of training centres in place of schools of excellence, to allocate money raised from betting to club development and more targeted management of referees.

It also suggests tax reforms and breaks to account for a player's relatively short career and re-naming stadiums after well-known sporting stars.

The European football championships in 2016 will be expanded from 16 teams to 24, with UEFA general secretary David Taylor last month saying potential host candidates would need step up organisation as a result.

The Euro 2012 championships, to be hosted jointly by Poland and the Ukraine, have been beset with scandal and infrastructure difficulties, such as building and upgrading new stadia.

In July UEFA president Michel Platini said he was unhappy at the lack of progress, warning Polish and Ukrainian officials they could lose the right to host Euro 2012 if considerable improvements were not made.

Sapa-AFP




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