The forthcoming UEFA Congress in Cyprus, this summer’s UEFA EURO 2004™ final round in Portugal and the venues for the 2005 UEFA club competition finals are all on the agenda at the first UEFA Executive Committee meeting of the year early next month.

New CEO
UEFA’s supreme executive body gathers at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland on 4 and 5 February for two days of discussions which herald the start of a new era. It will be the first meeting attended by Lars-Christer Olsson in his new capacity as UEFA Chief Executive, following the retirement of Gerhard Aigner. Mr Olsson has previously been present at Executive Committee meetings in his former role as UEFA’s professional football and marketing director.

Cyprus Congress
The XXVII Ordinary UEFA Congress takes place in Cyprus on 22 and 23 April. Europe’s football parliament now meets once a year, given UEFA’s highly-charged schedule of activities. This year’s event will include elections for UEFA and FIFA Executive Committee membership, approval of UEFA’s accounts for the past financial year and budget for the forthcoming year, and various activities to commemorate UEFA’s 2004 Jubilee celebrations. The UEFA CEO and the Executive Committee will also report on UEFA’s activities in 2003.

EURO countdown
Final preparations are being made for UEFA EURO 2004™, which will be played at ten stadiums in Portugal between 12 June and 4 July. The finishing touches are being put to several years of preparatory work involving UEFA, the Portuguese Football Federation and their various partners. The Executive Committee will receive a status report on current developments. Approval is also required for the appointment of a new chairman of the general assembly of Euro 2004, S.A. – the company established to organise the tournament – to replace Mr Aigner.

Final venues
A decision will also be taken on the venues for next year’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup finals. The following venues are candidates for the Champions League final: Stade de France (Paris), Estádio do Dragão (Porto), José Alvalade and Estádio da Luz (both Lisbon), Vicente Calderón (Madrid) and the Atatürk Olympic Stadium (Istanbul).

UEFA Cup candidates
Six venues are also in the running for the UEFA Cup final: Saint James’ Park (Newcastle), Stadium of Light (Sunderland), Estádio do Dragão (Porto), José Alvalade and Estádio da Luz (both Lisbon) and Hampden Park (Glasgow). This year’s UEFA Champions League final takes place in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on 26 May, a week after the UEFA Cup final in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Meridian venue
Discussions will also be held on potential venues for the 5th UEFA/CAF Meridian Cup tournament in 2005. This competition features eight European and African Under-17 teams, and is held under the auspices of the Meridian Project, a co-operation programme between UEFA and its African counterpart CAF. The previous tournament was held in Egypt early last year. An update will also be given on UEFA’s HatTrick assistance programme, and the project whereby UEFA is helping its 52 member associations construct mini-pitches to mark UEFA’s 50th birthday.

Jubilee events
Finally, a progress report will be given to the Executive Committee about the events taking place in UEFA’s 2004 Jubilee year. Visit www.uefa.com for details of UEFA’s jubilee content, and to see UEFA’s Jubilee brochure ‘A time to celebrate’ in English, French or German.

Press conference
The meeting will be followed by a press conference starting at 12.15CET on Thursday 5 February. Media representatives wishing to attend the press conference are kindly requested to inform UEFA before Monday 2 February by e-mail: accreditations@uefa.ch

For more details contact:

Rob Faulkner: +41 79 615 2352
Uefa Media Services: +41 22 99 44 559