KIEV, Ukraine -- Poland and Ukraine have proved that just about anyone can host the European Championship. Michel Platini is now suggesting that just about everyone can. All at the same time. The UEFA president revealed a radical plan for Euro 2020 on Saturday that turns the whole concept of hosting major sporting events upside down. "This may surprise you," Platini warned, before suggesting that UEFAs showpiece tournament for national teams could be scattered among some of his organizations 53 member nations. "We could either have one country with 12 host cities or have it in 12 or 13 cities all over Europe," he said. UEFA had been scheduled to announce a simple timetable to bid for Euro 2020, with candidates expected to outline plans for 12 modern stadiums for 24 teams, playing a total of 51 matches over one month. Held every four years, the European Championship is second only to the World Cup in global popularity and until 12 years ago was staged in one nation. However, three of the last four editions have been co-hosted by two countries, with Poland and Ukraine staging Euro 2012 in eight cities. Still, the financial demands on future hosts are set to spiral with UEFA having increased the event from 16 to 24 teams starting at Euro 2016 in France. Stadium building and renovation is merely the most obvious demand. Teams, officials, sponsors and fans must be flown in, transported around and housed. Broadcasters and journalists require ultra-modern telecommunications to serve media markets in practically every country on earth. Responding to this challenge, as austerity measures bite across the continent, UEFA was expected to push the boundaries by encouraging a triple-hosting option. Ireland, Scotland and Wales -- which dont even share a single land border -- have tentatively offered that solution. After Platini put forward his unusual proposal on Saturday, anything is possible. The head of European footballs ruling body said a decision would be taken in December or January on how to proceed with his idea. UEFAs executive committee, chaired by Platini, set May 2014 as the final deadline to decide where Euro 2020 will be played. "Its an idea I feel really passionate about," said Platini, who scored nine goals as captain of the winning France team in 1984 when it hosted an eight-team tournament. He added that "it will be a lot easier from a financial perspective." The burden on host nations can be considerable, and getting even more difficult to bear during an economic crisis across much of Europe. Poland and Ukraine had to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure, including in four cities which staged just three matches apiece. "We wont need to build airports, especially at this moment in time when we have an economic crisis," said Platini, who has previously acknowledged unease that Ukrainian cities Kharkiv and Lviv got little attention for their money. "We are going to have more games in the stadiums and, if we look at the investments made in stadiums for just three games, it is very expensive," he said Saturday. Euro 2012 has also been expensive for fans, and most stadiums have seen significantly fewer than at previous tournaments. Fans arrived largely by air -- often on connecting flights via Germany and Austria -- to reach the host cities. Gdansk on Polands Baltic coast and Donetsk, near Ukraines eastern border with Russia, are 1,800 kilometres (1,120 miles) apart. "Its easier to go from London to Paris or Berlin, than Kharkiv to Gdansk," Platini said, to illustrate how a future multi-nation event could offer simpler, cheaper travel. Spreading the tournament across many countries would also expand the appeal -- and financial benefits -- of a competition that already enjoys a huge global audience. UEFA has predicted that a worldwide television audience of 250 million viewers will watch Spain play Italy in Sundays final in Kyiv. Euro 2012 has provided a good return for broadcasters in more than 200 territories who paid a combined C840 million ($1.07 billion) for media rights. They contributed 62 per cent of UEFAs total commercial revenue of C1.345 billion ($1.7 billion) for the 31-match tournament. Platinis announcement added fresh intrigue to a Euro 2020 bidding process which, three months ago, seemed likely to be quickly awarded to Turkey without opposition after Germany pulled back from its declared interest. Turkey was defeated by France by a 7-6 vote of UEFA executive committee members for the Euro 2016 rights, and Platini had publicly backed its chances for 2020. However, the position was complicated by Istanbuls candidacy for the 2020 Summer Olympics which is scheduled just weeks after the football tournament. UEFA and the International Olympic Committee agree that one country cannot host both events back-to-back. When UEFA set a May deadline for expressions of interest in hosting Euro 2020, Turkey was joined by Georgia and the triple hosting option from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Days later, Azerbaijan teamed with the Georgians for a co-hosting bid when the IOC rejected Baku as a potential 2020 Olympics host. Platini said that Turkeys situation was "ambiguous." "This is a problem for the (UEFA) executive committee. Were not going to wait for a decision from the IOC," he said. IOC members will choose their 2020 host from three official candidates -- Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo -- in September 2013. Istanbul and Madrid may yet both end up as Euro 2020 hosts. Wholesale Authentic Jerseys
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. With the NHL season on the horizon, Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, analysts Marc Crawford and Keith Jones as well as TSN host Dave Hodge were once again charged with the task of building their own fantasy teams for the 2011-12 season.Tim Wallach, Murray Cook and Dave Van Horne - three men whose names were synonymous with the Montreal Expos - will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on June 21. The Hall also announced on Monday that Canadian national team coach Jim Ridley will be inducted posthumously. "Tim Wallach and Dave Van Horne are two names that have become synonymous with the Montreal Expos, and both have had a significant impact on baseball in this country, and Murray Cook and Jim Ridley helped blaze a trail for Canadians in the professional scouting and executive ranks," said Scott Crawford, the halls director of operations said in a statement. "Were proud and excited to celebrate their careers in St. Marys this June." Wallach is the Expos all-time leader in several statistical categories, including games played (1,767), hits (1,694), doubles (360), RBI (905) and total bases (2,728). Nicknamed "Eli" by his teammates, Wallach also ranks third all-time amongst Expos in runs (737) and fourth in home runs (204). Chosen 10th overall by the Expos in the 1979 amateur draft, Wallach began his big league career as an outfielder before evolving into the best third baseman in the franchises history. In 13 seasons with the Expos from 1980 to 1992, Wallach was selected to five all-star games (1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990), won three Gold Gloves (1985, 1988, 1990) and captured two Silver Slugger Awards (1985, 1987). He was also named to the Topps All-Star Rookie team in 1981, topped the National League in doubles in 1987 and 1989 and finished fourth in National League MVP voting in 1987. Van Horne began his Montreal career behind the mike with the Expos first game on April 8, 1969 until the end of the 2000 season. He became known for his trademark catch-phrases like "Up, up and away!" when the Expos hit a home run. In his 32 seasons with the Expos, he broadcast the down-to-the-wire pennant races in 1979 and 1980, the teams only post-season run in 1981 and Dennis Martinezs perfect game on July 28, 1991 – a performance that inspired, perhaps, his most famous call, "El Presidente, El Perfecto!" In 2001, Van Horne accepted the radio play-by-play position with the Florida Marlins and he would later broadcast the clubs World Series-winning 2003 campaign. In 1996, Van Horne received the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fames Jack Graney Award for broadcasting excellence and 15 years later, he was the recipient of the National Baseball Hall of Fames equivalent honour, the Ford C. Frick Award. Now entering his 46th year of broadcasting major league games, Van Horne is set to become the second Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee (Tom Cheek is the other) to have won both the Jack Graney and Ford C. Frick Awards. Born in Sackville, N.B. in 1940, Murray Cook has spent more than half a century in professional baseball. After graduating from Ohio University with a masters degree in history in 1962, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played shortstop and third base in the lower levels of their system for parts of four years, before hanging up his spikes to become the general manager of their Class-A affiliate in Gastonia in 1966. The Pirates promoted him too their big league front office in 1967.dddddddddddd He was named the teams assistant farm director the following year and soon rose through the ranks to become the clubs assistant director of minor league operations in 1972 and director of scouting in 1977. After 21 years in the Pirates organization, Cook was hired to be the New York Yankees scouting director in January 1983. Just over six months later, he was named the clubs general manager, becoming just the second Canadian to be a big league GM (Huntsville, Ont., native George Selkirk was the Washington Senators GM from 1964 to 1969). Cook remains just one of five Canadians to serve as a GM at the major league level. The others are Selkirk, Gord Ash (Toronto Blue Jays, 1995 to 2001), Doug Melvin (Texas Rangers, 1994 to 2001; Milwaukee Brewers, 2003 to present) and Alex Anthopoulos (Toronto Blue Jays, 2009 to present). In 1984, Cook was reassigned to the position of vice-president and director of scouting with the Yankees, before he replaced John McHale as general manager of the Expos on September 5 of that year. Drafting Randy Johnson, signing free agent Dennis Martinez and rebuilding the Expos into a surprising contender were among the highlights of his close to three years in Montreal. Following his tenure with the Expos, he served as the general manager of the Cincinnati Reds in 1988 and 1989. Since 1990, he has worked in scouting capacities for the Minnesota Twins, Miami Marlins, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. In 2010, he was named East Scout of the Year for his contributions to the scouting field. He is currently the Tigers East Coast regional cross checker. After two seasons as an outfielder in the Milwaukee Braves organization in 1964 and 1965, Toronto native Jim Ridley returned to Canada where he would have a significant impact on baseball in his home country for the next four decades. While continuing his playing career in the Intercounty Baseball League – where he was named league MVP with Stratford Hillers in 1974 – Ridley launched his storied coaching and scouting career. He began as a part-time scout with the Detroit Tigers in 1973, before joining the Toronto Blue Jays in 1976 to run the clubs first tryout camp in Utica, N.Y. In his 26 years as a scout with the Blue Jays, Ridley was the driving force behind the clubs decisions to sign Canadians like Paul Spoljaric, Rob Butler and David Corrente. He also served as a coach with the Blue Jays rookie-level affiliate in Medicine Hat from 1978 to 1980. A highly respected coach at the local level, Ridley also coached the Canadian junior national team from 1983 to 1988, leading the squad to bronze medals at the World Junior Baseball Championship in 1983 and 1987. In 1988, he coached the Canadian Olympic baseball team and three years later, he was tabbed to manage Canadas squad at the Pan Am Games. Starting in 2002, Ridley served as a scout with the Minnesota Twins. Rene Tosoni and Jon Waltenbury are among the Canadians he signed and brought into the Twins organization. Ridley passed away from cancer on November 28, 2008. Each year, the Canadian Baseball Network presents the Jim Ridley Award to the countrys top scout in his memory. ' ' '