Close to 18,000 people from 150 countries have submitted applications to volunteer at the Euro 2008 football tournament, to be held in June in Switzerland and Austria.
This figure represents over three times the number of people needed to assist at the world's third-largest sporting event.
Five thousand volunteers will be selected to work at the competition, and while they will not be paid, they will be allowed to keep their uniforms and will receive free refreshments.
Uefa, European football's governing body, said that it will be conducting around 4,000 hours of interviews until mid-April, and that it will judge candidates based on ability, motivation and enthusiasm. Training will begin later that month.
Authorities said Switzerland proved to be more popular than Austria – a total of 9,544 people applied to work in Switzerland compared with 8,100 in Austria. Around two-thirds of potential volunteers were men.
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