Small nations hindered by Euro expansion

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The Scottish Football Association believe UEFA's decision to expand the European Championships to 24 teams will prohibit small nations from acting as hosts in future.

Scotland and Wales abandoned plans for a joint bid to host the 2016 European Championships on Sunday, with the Football Association of Wales attributing the decision to the economic downturn and the size of the event.

A statement on the FAW website,, read: "After careful consideration, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) have decided not to make a joint bid to host the Euro 2016 Football Championships."

FAW secretary general David Collins explained: "The current economic downturn and the very considerable implications for infrastructure provision following UEFA's decision to expand the European Championship finals to 24 teams are key considerations."

A sole bid by Scotland had also been mooted, but that was never a possibility, according to SFA head of communications Rob Shorthouse.

"We always said as soon as the championship was expanded to 24 teams that would immediately rule us out of ever doing it of by ourselves and it would only ever be a joint bid," he told BBC Radio Five Live on Sunday night.

"You do have to be realistic and be aware of the fact that sometimes you do have limitations as a small country.

"Even heading back to the World Cup in Germany, with over a million people in fan parks - that's a huge burden to put on cities in Scotland like Glasgow and Edinburgh and on Cardiff in Wales.

"The only country that's put their name forward so far to host the championships in 2016 is France, so it shows you that it's the big nations that are going to be bidding for these championships in future."

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