Roger Lewis says WRU would back bid for European football final

Cardiff's Millennium Stadium

Chief executive Roger Lewis says the Welsh Rugby Union would be happy to host a European football final at Millennium Stadium.

The Cardiff venue will stage rugby's Heineken Cup final, but football enquiries have had a cool reception.

In April, Uefa president Michel Platini outlined problems with the city's airport and a shortage of hotel rooms.

But Lewis said: "We would be more than willing to deliver top European Cup football."

Any formal bid would have to be made by the Football Association of Wales, with the WRU - as owners of the stadium - offering support.

Earlier in 2013 the FAW did register an interest in co-hosting Uefa's 2020 European Championship in Cardiff.

However, Platini's response was not encouraging from a Welsh viewpoint or on the broader subject of staging one of the major club finals in the Welsh capital.

"There is not enough hotel rooms in the city, there is not enough space around for the hospitality," he said.

"That creates a problem for the final of the Champions League. We need a lot of space. Good or bad we need that."

Lewis is conscious of the issues, but points out that as no firm approach has been made the two Welsh sporting bodies are not yet fully aware of what is required.

"No-one over the past 14 years of the stadium's life has been able to be in a position to make a formal bid for one of those great European football competitions," he said

"We need to know what the criteria are going forward and when we receive those criteria then we can formulate the bid.

"The Millennium Stadium has got a fantastic record for delivering world-class football."

Lewis also pointed out the stadium's proven track record in staging major football matches.

"FA Cups, Carling Cups, Olympic soccer - you know we have delivered all of that and we would be more than willing and more than wanting to deliver top European Cup football," he added.

"We've had world football here with the Olympic Games, so we can deliver that.

"We'll be looking for advice and guidance from the Football Association of Wales and the other soccer sporting bodies, but I know the FAW would be very keen to see a major European football competition here.

"And as I say we are always open for business for that."

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