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Euro officials will announce Wednesday what country (or countries) will host the 2012 European Championship.

Italy is the overwhelming favorite, but should UEFA choose non-traditional venues instead? And should Italy's domestic problems be a factor in the decision?

By Steve Goff  |  April 17, 2007; 9:18 AM ET
Categories:  World  
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If going "traditional," why wouldn't Spain host since they haven't done so since 1964. (Italy hosted in both 1968 and 1980.) If not Spain then maybe a group of countries in Eastern Europe could host, which always helps build popularity for the sport.

Posted by: 12th man | April 17, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Italy should not be rewarded for the disgusting manner in which they conduct the business of football in their country. I love Italy and would love to make an extended trip of such a tournament, but morally it would be wrong to provide more positive reinforcement for a governing body that has no spine or will to clean up a rotten sporting culture of cheating and violence.

With Platini in charge and his Juventus roots, I suspect that once again UEFA will continue to look the other way and award the tournament to Italy.

Posted by: Eric | April 17, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Italy should not even be considered at this time. Too many internal problems dealing with the soccer league. Why not a group of small neighboring countries with stability or less problem?

Posted by: Henry71 | April 17, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

As an alternative suggestion, I think it would be great to see the European Championships held in The Czech Republic. I know they lack the amount (and size) of stadiums that are probably required, but maybe they could build some. Maybe they could partner with Slovakia in the way Holland/Belgium did in 2004 and Switzerland/Austria will be doing next summer.

Posted by: Eric | April 17, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I just read the UEFA release and it appears that there are three finalists:

Croatia/Hungary, Italy and Poland/Ukraine

Poland has not taken steps to get rid of some pretty repugnant racism in their stadiums, so I would have to give my support to the Croatia/Hungary hosting team. I can think of at least one or two United fans that would be overjoyed if this came to pass!

Posted by: Eric | April 17, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

UEFA would once again show their utter incompetence by giving the tournament to Italy - a country which is in need of a restructuring at the level of post-Taylor Report Great Britain. I guess their logic is that the award will prompt many safety and ground changes between now and 2012. We'll see.

Hungary and Croatia would be cool shared hosts. But cool and appropriate will certainly lose out to money and politics. This is world football we're talking about.

Posted by: Kev | April 17, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I hope it is awarded Latvia. When UEFA realizes that Latvia doesn't have the infrastructure, they will ask the US to host it on short notice :-)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | April 17, 2007 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to stick up for Italy here. It would be great, and also would provide an outside impetus for the stadiums to be modernized. Part of the problem there is that many of the stadiums are municipal instead of controlled by the teams, so this leads to problems with keeping them up to date with safety regulations. An example is the laughably bad condition of the Artemio Franchi in Florence. This would give the country a reason to modernize its grounds and confront the hooliganism problems.

Posted by: tmc | April 17, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

If you're the sort of person who enjoys watching draft lotteries and televised player signings, the host announcement is being streamed live tomorrow by Eurosport. You can get the feed at

Of course, it's at 4:30 am eastern time, but at least then you'll be up to watch the European Weightlifting Championship, which Eurosport is also streaming. Hours and hours of people grunting and screaming while lifting big heavy things. Fun!

Posted by: Ash | April 17, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Ukraine and Poland have been named as hosts.

Posted by: Eric | April 18, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

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