4:10pm Wednesday 30th April 2014
By Andrew Penman
WALES and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has thrown his weight behind the Football Association of Wales bid for Cardiff to become one of the 13 host cities for Euro 2020.
The bid brochure and film feature the heart celebration made famous by Bale, and were unveiled at a press conference today that included Wales team manager Chris Coleman and the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.
Bale, who helped Madrid to the Champions League final on Tuesday night, said: “Wales’ bid to become a Euro 2020 host is really important to me and I am delighted that it is using my heart celebration in its campaign brochure and film.
“Our bid offers UEFA a fantastic stadium and of course the well-known hospitality of the Welsh people.
“Another reason I am so keen to support the bid is because football in Wales stands to benefit through the legacy fund that would be set up from any surplus from us hosting Euro 2020.
“This is a great idea that will enable grass roots football to tap into some extra funding once the tournament is over.”
Speaking at today’s press conference at the Millennium Stadium Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the FAW, said: “We are in a highly competitive race and know that we have to do everything we can to communicate the benefits of Cardiff being chosen as a EURO 2020 host city.”
First Minister Jones pointed to the country’s recent track record of hosting top class sporting events, including the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Newport.
He said: “Wales’ bid demonstrates not only to UEFA, but to the commercial partners, the media and the fans that we have the capability to host a sporting celebration in 2020 that would be remembered as one of the best.
"We have a proud track record in hosting major events, from the Rugby World Cup, to the Ashes, to the Ryder Cup and Olympic football. I believe we have earned the opportunity to host the EURO 2020 matches. The Millennium Stadium is ready, Cardiff is ready and most importantly Wales is ready.”
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