BUDAPEST, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Hungarian Football Federation is submitting a bid to become one of the venues for the 2020 European Football Championships, Federation President Sandor Csanyi announced on Tuesday.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, voicing support for the move at a joint news conference with Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President Michel Platini, said the games could be played at Puskas Stadium in Budapest.
Plans call for changing the way the championships are organized, allowing 13 different countries to host the various groups and Hungary hopes to be one of the 13. UEFA will accept preliminary applications until Thursday and final applications until next April 25. The UEFA Executive Committee will decide on the winners a year from now in September.
Orban said that Puskas Stadium will be rebuilt before 2016. The current stadium was opened in 1953 and has been in regular use since that time.
Csanyi said that countries can bid for either of two packages. One consists of the preliminary rounds and the other of the semi-finals and final. While he did not specifically say which package Hungary has set its sights on. He did note that once revamped, Puskas stadium would be big enough to seat crowds for the finals since it will have a 65,000 seat capacity.
Platini said he was happy that Budapest is bidding for the European Championships. He praised Hungary for programs allowing young people to play under good conditions but warned that UEFA was introducing a program of zero tolerance for manifestations of racism. Hungary has been censured several times for racist behavior on the part of fans.