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"Nine good reasons"

Zloczower has identified nine major strengths

Swiss football association president Ralph Zloczower says he's confident that Switzerland and Austria will host the 2008 European championships.

Set out below are Zloczower's nine reasons for success.

PASSION

"The people of both countries are fully behind our joint candidature. A survey carried out in October by independent firm Isopublic showed that 80 per cent of adults from all walks of life supported our candidature. Our bid has met with strong approval in both lands."

STADIUMS

"Eight ultramodern stadiums will be available, four in Austria and four in Switzerland. Three are already in use, three are being built and the remaining two are in advanced stages of planning. All eight will be ready by autumn 2006, meeting the highest demands and offering first-class comfort and top security."

CENTRALITY

"'Football's best - close to you.' We see our motto as an obligation and a duty. All 31 matches will take place in the heart of Europe. The cities and the stadiums are all easily reached. It will be the shortest route ever to a European Championships. The distance between the furthest venues in Geneva and Vienna is just 1,000 kilometres. Uefa can bank on ringing cash tills."

INFRASTRUCTURE

"All visitors can expect top-quality infrastructure in both countries. Players and fans will be made to feel at home. We are doing everything so that our guests feel comfortable. New stadiums, short journeys, a healthy environment and a high quality of life in two popular holiday destinations. Our bid offers optimal conditions for every taste."

POLITICAL SUPPORT

"The worlds of politics and finance are supporting us in both countries. The whole organisation stands on a healthy financial base. The two governments are standing shoulder to shoulder. Political stability is also guaranteed. Anyone who visits Austria and Switzerland will appreciate the security as well as the comfort."

YOUTH

"Our work with our youth teams is bearing fruit, and Austria is also catching up. Winning the under-17 European championships and reaching the semi-finals of the under-21s in our own country have provoked a new football boom. The tournament in Switzerland saw 170,000 fans in attendance for the first time at any under-21 event. The senior version will give further encouragement to the youngsters who will be at the ideal age by 2008."

READINESS

"The European championships have never been staged in Austria or Switzerland and Austria has never held the World Cup either. We're ready - now or never! Austria has already tried twice without success and is now ripe, together with us Swiss, to host the event. Sweden were hosts in 1992 and England in 1996."

WILL

"Perserverance and will typify the people of our two countries. A country like Austria deserves recognition after applying for a third time, while continuing to work on and refine its bid. The values of experience bring advantages and testify to our strengths. And where there's a will, there's a way."

RELIABILITY

"What we have promised in our 674-page all-embracing bid document, we will hold to. People can rely on us. We have a good image. And if we get the nod, we will also comply with Uefa's wish and stage a preliminary tournament in 2007."

swissinfo with agencies

Euro bid

Seven bid teams from 14 countries are competing to host the tournament.

Switzerland and Austria are earmarking SFr170 million for the organisational costs, but any final deficit would be covered by Uefa.

Matches would be staged in Bern, Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Vienna, Klagenfurt, Salzburg and Innsbruck.

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