The head of Czech football Tuesday pressed the country’s claims to host an under 21 European championship in meetings at the headquarters of European football’s governing body, UEFA.
Czech Football Association head Miroslav Pelta brought up the country’s candidacy to host an under 21 finals in a meeting with UEFA head Michele Platini and other UEFA officials in Nyon, Switzerland.
The Czech Republic lost out on hosting the 2013 finals to Israel but a March meeting should decide who will host the event in 2015.
“We have now improved our offer and we are waiting with anticipation the result of the March decision,” Pelta said, according to a statement released on the Czech football association (FAČR) website.
‘We have now improved our offer and we are waiting with anticipation the result of the March decision.’
The Czech association has recently been stepping up pressure on the government and lawmakers to ensure that funds for development of youth football in the country and the possible hosting of prestige events, such as European championship finals, are not threatened by the shortage of funds for Czech sport following the collapse of the Sazka lottery company, which funneled cash into Czech sports associations.
Pelta also raised the problem of young Czech football talent being snapped up by wealthy European clubs before they have even had a chance play much in the top Czech league. The Czech under-19 national team was the runner up in the European finals last year, the under 21 team reached the semifinals and the under 17 team placed fifth in its championship event. “The development of football here would be helped a lot by us staging the final phase of an under 21 European championship,” the Czech association said, adding that the possibility of the country staging other events was also raised.
Pelta, who was elected to the country’s top football post in November, will continue his “diplomacy” next week when he meets with the head of world football’s governing body, FIFA, Sepp Blatter.