Polish FA has just offered Poznań to become the next bid from this country to host Europa League Final. Choosing this city over Gdansk and Warsaw is seen by some commentators as politically driven.
Half a year ago UEFA announced hosts for the 2014 cup finals with Lisbon (Champions League) and Turin (Europa League) being the winning bids. Would the 2015 edition of Europa League go East in response?
That would surely be the dream behind Polish bid for the event. Already in mid-2011 president of PZPN (Polish FA) Grzegorz Lato announced the federation will submit a bid for one of European cup finals shortly after Euro 2012 ends. Despite hosting the large tournament Lato claims Polish bid stands a chance as the final will be played 3 years after Euro and no Polish city hosted such an event yet.
However last year Lato claimed Arena Gdańsk was the most probable choice, while now he officially asked Poznań president Ryszard Grobelny to consider launching a bid and promised the FA will commit to support such a move.
This step raised eyebrows even in Poznań with football association of Greater Poland region (WZPN) officials claiming they would have thought Warsaw’s National Stadium was the most obvious and strongest bid from Poland.
That is why some commentators suggest choosing Poznań Municipal Stadium for a Polish bid is politically motivated. In just over a month elections for Polish FA’s president are to be held and giving large events to regional associations is said to be the way of Mr Lato gaining necessary support to be reelected.
Competition from Belarus
As Poznań authorities haven’t responded to the offer yet, competition in Minsk is determined to submit their bid to UEFA. In October this year reconstruction of national Dinamo Stadion is to start and should end in 2014. As Belarussian Sports and Tourism Ministry assures, the ground will be approved to bid for either the 2015 or 2016 Europa League final.