PARIS - UEFA president Michel Platini has unveiled the board for Euro 2016 in France, the first European Championships to be funded entirely by the governing body, but a definite decision on host cities has been delayed.
The steering committee has eight members, four from UEFA, with the former director general of the French Football Federation (FFF) and kingpin of France's organisation of the 1998 World Cup Jacques Lambert becoming chairman.
FFF chairman Fernand Duchaussoy, French Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno and a representative of the nine host cities, yet to be named, also make up the board for the first European championship to have 24 teams.
"This will be the political arm of Euro 2016, where all the decisions are made," Platini, top scorer in the last European championship organised and won by France in 1984, told a news conference on Thursday.
For the first time since the first championship in 1960, UEFA will assume full funding, which in the past has been undertaken by the host federation.
"There will be no financial risk for the French Federation," Platini added, indicating that the FFF will still receive "a bonus" if there are profits.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said it was too early to assess the budget for Euro 2016.
A joint stock company, called Euro 2016 S.A.S and held 95 percent by UEFA and 5 percent by the FFF, will be created as the operational body responsible for the event. The expenses will be funded entirely by UEFA.
Eleven cities are bidding to host matches in Euro 2016: Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nancy, Nice, Paris (Parc des Princes), Saint-Denis (Stade de France), Saint-Etienne and Toulouse.
The FFF had until May 27 to select the nine official cities and two substitutes but, because of the election of a new FFF management team expected on June 18, UEFA has agreed to extend the deadline until mid-September.
The programme of building new stadiums, which cities such as Lille urgently need, is already well underway.
"We are generally on schedule," said Jouanno, sat alongside Platini.
Progress on Olympique Lyon's new home, nicknamed OL Land, is however currently being blocked by a legal appeal.
"It is difficult to envisage that the Euros take place without Lyon," Jouanno added, saying she was confident of a positive outcome.
The draw for the qualification phase, in which 53 teams will compete, is due to be held on March 9, 2014 in Nice with the draw for the finals in mid-December 2015 in Paris.
France beat off bids from Italy and Turkey in May last year to win the race to host the event. The next Euros will be held in Ukraine and Poland in June next year.comments