UEFA says it may take Euro 2008 away from Austria, Switzerland

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Soccer's 2008 European Championship could be taken away from joint hosts Austria and Switzerland.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Soccer's 2008 European Championship could be taken away from joint hosts Austria and Switzerland, European soccer's governing body said in a private letter to the two countries' football associations. The letter, which was seen by the Swiss weekly newspaper Sonntags Zeitung, warned that UEFA was "very disappointed" at Switzerland's failure to build a new stadium in Zurich. "In this situation, UEFA could decide that defeated candidates be given the opportunity to contest the decision to award Euro 2008 to Austria and Switzerland," UEFA president Lennart Johansson and chief executive Lars Olsson were quoted as saying. They explained that Switzerland has failed to come up with an alternative venue, leaving the co-hosts with just seven stadiums with the capacity to host matches. UEFA and the Swiss soccer association were not immediately available for comment today. Legal challenges against replacing Zurich's current Hardturm Stadium have made it impossible to have the complex ready in time for the 2008 tournament. Options to reallocate the matches planned for Hardturm to other Swiss stadiums have already been explored. For a new venue to be considered, it needs to be fully operational by the summer of 2007, allowing enough time to test all facilities during a regular soccer season, UEFA has specified. (AP)

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