Azerbaijan and Georgia have submitted a joint declaration of interest to host Euro 2020, the first step in the bidding process, the head of Azerbaijan’s football federation was quoted as saying Thursday by Azerbaijani news agency APA.
The bid was allowed after UEFA extended the deadline for declaration of interest indefinitely, beyond the original date of May 15.
“Budapest hosts FIFA congress today. Our secretary general is there and we put in nomination with Georgia to host Euro 2020,” Rovnag Abdullayev, president of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan, was quoted as saying.
Georgia and Azerbaijan had originally planned to bid together, but Georgia went its own way and submitted a declaration of interest earlier this month.
A spokesman for the Georgian football federation told RIA Novosti at the time that Azerbaijan would concentrate on its capital Baku’s bid for the 2020 Olympics instead.
The Olympic bid, however, was rejected at the preliminary stage Wednesday, and this now allowed Azerbaijan to work towards fulfilling its footballing ambitions, Abdullayev said.
Neither Azerbaijan nor Georgia, whose populations together total around 14 million, has hosted a major sports event before, and this inexperience was flagged up in the International Committee’s report on the Baku bid.