The cabinet has formally announced its backing for a joint bid by the Swiss and Austrian football associations to host the European soccer championship in 2008. It has asked the Federal Office for Sport to draw up a cost projection for the tournament by the autumn.
The government has already fulfilled one of the essential conditions for hosting Euro 2008 thanks to its decision to subsidise the construction of a whole new generation of stadia as part of a national programme.
The cabinet said it would turn its attention to the other conditions, in particular those concerning transport, telecommunications and security, once the cost projection for the tournament had been received.
With this in mind, the Federal Office for Sport is to set up an interdepartmental working group charged with finding the best route forward for the government to make its case for hosting Euro 2008.
Ralph Zloczower, president of the Swiss FA, said he was delighted that the cabinet had thrown its hat into the ring. "I was counting on its support. Without the government's backing, there was no hope of organising a European championship."
The Swiss and Austrian football associations announced that they would be making a joint bid back in March this year. They have until July 2002 to submit their bid to soccer's governing body, FIFA.
swissinfo with agencies
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