Andorra seek Spanish venue for Euro qualifier with England
Wednesday 24 January 2007
Uefa is set to give approval today for the Euro 2008 qualifying match between Andorra and England to be played in Barcelona.
The Andorran Football Association has submitted a request for the match on 28 March to be played at Espanyol's Olympic Stadium because its home ground holds only 1,800 fans. The decision will be taken by Uefa's executive committee, which is meeting in Düsseldorf today before the European governing body's annual congress.
The Football Association has backed Andorra's application after the experience of playing Liechtenstein four years ago when only a tiny fraction of official England fans were able to obtain tickets, leading to a major security headache.
The executive committee meeting will be followed on Friday by the election for the next Uefa president, with the incumbent, Lennart Johansson, standing against Michel Platini. It is the first time Johansson has had a challenger in his 17 years in office but Platini is regarded as the favourite.
There is a body of opinion among some association heads that, at the age of 77, Johansson should step down. The FA insists it will keep its choice a secret but, with Platini promising to limit the number of clubs per country in the Champions' League to three, there will be pressure from top-flight clubs for England to vote for Johansson.
Should Platini lose, he will no longer be part of Uefa's executive committee as he will not stand for re-election to that body. West Ham United's Icelandic chairman, Eggert Magnusson, is standing for re-election and is one of 13 candidates contesting six seats. Franz Beckenbauer will be elected unopposed as one of the European members on Fifa's executive committee.
The next British Fifa vice-president, to succeed Scotland's David Will, will not be decided until 5 February. The four home nations are allowed to elect their own vice-president and each association has nominated its own candidate.
The FA chairman, Geoff Thompson, the Irish FA president, Jim Boyce, the FA of Wales president, Peter Rees, and the Scottish FA president, John McBeth are standing.
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