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Euro 2008 hosts promise greener tournament

Leuenberger (centre), his Austrian counterpart and a Uefa official want a sustainable tournament Keystone

Switzerland and Austria have committed themselves to a series of sustainability standards for the Euro 2008 football championships.

Both countries say the tournament, due to start in less than take 12 months, should serve as a model for similar events in the future.

The Swiss environment minister, Moritz Leuenberger, and his Austrian counterpart, Josef Pröll, signed a “sustainability charter” in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Monday.

One of the aims is to encourage fans to travel to the matches by train or bus.

“We have invested in the public transport system and want visitors to the Euro 2008 to leave their cars at home, ” Leuenberger said.

He added that both Switzerland and Austria were alpine countries and therefore particularly affected by climate change.

Switzerland hopes that 80 per cent of the fans will use public transport. The goal for Austria is 60 per cent.

Pröll said he was convinced that the new sustainability standards were a “milestone” and that a “green tournament” would have a positive impact for Austria.

The host countries are seeking to promote renewable energy, and spectators in the stadiums will be asked to keep litter to a minimum.


The sustainability charter for the Euro 2008 also includes economic and social aspects.

Leuenberger said Switzerland and Austria could boost their good image as tourist destinations by putting newly built infrastructure to long-term use.

The organisers also said they wanted to promote organic food and offer soft drinks for a cheaper price than alcoholic beverages. Alcohol in stadiums has been banned.

Other prevention measures include combating the sex trade and prostitution. Special attention is also being given to anti-racism and fan liaison efforts.

Switzerland is hosting 15 of the 31 matches of the Euro 2008. More than five million people are expected to travel to watch games in the stadiums and on big screens during the three-week tournament.

swissinfo with agencies

15 of the 31 Euro 2008 matches will be played in the four Swiss cities of Basel, Zurich, Geneva and Ber.

The 16 others will take place in Austria.

Switzerland will play the opening match of the tournament at Basel’s St Jakob’s Park on June 7, 2008. The final will be in Vienna on June 29.

Up to 5.4 million people are expected to travel to watch games at the four main stadiums and on big screens in Switzerland during the three-week tournament.

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