Leader: ‘Euro 2020 fans would flock to our great city’

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When Hibs and Hearts played the first all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final for 114 years in May, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to hold a major football final at Murrayfield Stadium.

The Scottish Football Association, of course, had other ideas and the showpiece occasion went ahead at Hampden.

Now, the SRU venue has once again found itself in the running for a football match, this time potentially a key tie in the Euro 2020 finals.

Uefa chief Michel Platini has announced that rather than one or two countries hosting the finals as is usual, all of Europe will be home to the 60th anniversary event, with matches across the continent in major cities. By 2020, the event will also be expanded to 24 teams, rather than the current 16.

This opens the possibility of Scotland hosting one or two matches and Murrayfield is in prime position as the largest stadium in the country with a 67,000 capacity.

Is it realistic? Uefa will favour large stadia and its easy to see why fans from across Europe would want to flock to one of Europe’s great cities for such an occasion. Uefa would love the idea of fans pictured walking through Edinburgh’s historic streets.

The SRU has already said it is interested and deputy council leader Steve Cardownie has backed the idea in principle. Furthermore, Scotland had already expressed an interest in hosting the 2020 finals and so is well placed.

Imagine the potential spin-off from fans arriving here for a Murrayfield Euro match and then staying on for the Festival season?

Edinburgh is often eclipsed by Glasgow when it comes to football, but this is a perfect opportunity for the city to play its part in one of the world’s great sporting events.

Who knows? Scotland might even qualify to play . . .