Directly under the giant Olympic ski jump in Innsbruck, Austria ( as I reminded you before there are NO kangaroos in Austria) they are building the New Tirol Stadion for Wacker-Tirol of the Austrian Bundesliga and for EURO 2008.
They gave me a tour but it won't be ready until October for league play with 15,000 seats, and a final capacity of 30,000. It's directly behind the Olympic Ice Hall, and two practice pitches are also being built, and walking distance from down town.
There will only be 3 matches in 2008 in Innsbruck, one of 8 host cities.
Vienna where the final will be, Klagenfurt down south, and Salzburg, home to Salzburg Red Bull are the other Austrian venues.
The Swiss cities being used include Zurich, Bern, Geneva and Basle.
Since Klagenfurt only has 70,000 people, I can imagine 40,000 English and a similar number of the Dutch 'Orange Army' might be a handfull for the local organizing committee(LOC).
As with Germany 2006 there are some fantastic places to stay outside the main cities, and I encourage any fans and teams to visit, see both countries-plus nearby Italy and Germany and have a great time with fans from all over Europe.
The EURO is often neglected by USA aficionados, since Brasil and USA don't take part, but the standard of competition, with only 16 teams competing, is much higher than the World Cup.
UEFA may have a new president soon. Michel Platini, organizer of WC
1998 has signified that he will run against the 72 year old Swede, Johannson and there is still a chance that Beckenbauer may throw his hat into the ring as well, and he would probably beat them both.
FANS MUST be accommodated with a FAIR supply of tickets, with sponsors share kept to a minimum, unlike the recent World Cup, and Press seats limited to 1% of stadium capacity, with the rest in a nearby press center-just like the Oscars.
We will be welcoming fans and teams in Rosenheim at Gasthof Hoehensteiger, only 70 minutes from Innsbruck and the same to Salzburg, and 3-4 hours to most other stadiums in Austria and Switzerland.
I also want to see a NO SMOKING policy adopted on ALL Austrian transport, similar to that of Switzerland, and FREE WATER ON REQUEST at all restaurants and cafes, and FREE toilets for all- what a political platform for Platini.
I remind you that in 1998 in some stadiums in France, including Marseilles and 'state of the art' Stade de France, they had some SQUAT toilets, often found in 3rd world countries. I had then asked the FIFA press secretary if then President Joao Havelange had had to squat, or did he have a 'sit down' comfy one, and was told they could not confirm or deny!!
Some of the memorable names at WC 2006.- 'The Inseminator' for the Ecuadorian striker who had 3 paternity suits in as many weeks, or the little Bavarian ski resort I visited called Wank-I was too embarrased to ask the locals what they were called, but evidently they breed lots of referees and FIFA officials.
Even though Germany was a happy and successful host I believe that Angela Merkel should provide a named charity with E 5 million for all the money spent by fans at pay toilets.
I also want to re-assign FIFA Confederations. Australia has already moved to Asia and I think that the North African and Middle East countries should be taken from Asian and African Confederations to form one Arab League Confederation.
The Oceania teams would join the new Asian Confederation.
14 places at next World Cup for UEFA, 5 for New Asia, 5 for New Africa(sub Sahara) 4 for South America, 3 for CONCACAF - and one place for the Arab Confederation-IF they behave themselves. The decision would be taken prior to the qualification rounds by a poll in 'The Jerusalem Post' !!
I think that's fair don't you?