Sweden & Norway to drop Euro 2016 bid

STOCKHOLM - Sweden and Norway are likely to have to drop plans for a joint Euro 2016 bid after their governments told them they would not be providing the money needed for investment in stadiums.

The countries would have had to build new arenas or expand existing ones to host a European championship with 24 countries. The football associations had hoped their governments would provide funding for municipalities to invest in their arenas.

In Sweden, with the exception of the Swedbank Arena in Solna just outside Stockholm, all arenas are municipality-owned.

The Swedish FA said on its website bid organisers had been told by government officials at a meeting this week that funds would not be provided. It said, however, it was still awaiting a "formal decision" from the governments but that the announcement at the meeting made the bid "impossible".

"This is obviously a disappointment," Swedish FA chairman Lars-Ake Lagrell said. "We note the fact that the accounts from Euro 2008 shows that a European championship is a big winning arrangement for the host country. "But we also note ... that the political will to arrange a joint European championship in Sweden and Norway is not there."

Turkey, France and Italy have registered their interest in hosting the event. Bid dossiers have to be presented to European football's governing body UEFA by February 15 with a decision on the hosts due in May.