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FOOTBALL: Give up Euro bid to invest in youth.

SCOTS would prefer to spend cash on bringing through the stars of the future by youth development than ploughing millions into hosting the Euro 2008 championships.

A survey just two weeks before the SFA learn if a joint bid with Ireland to host the finals has been successful will give our football bosses plenty of food for thought.

The BBC Scotland poll also found a majority felt Rangers and Celtic didn't do enough to combat sectarianism.

Polling organisation System Three interviewed 900 people for the survey which is being used as the basis for an examination of the state of Scottish sport under the banner "Running on Empty."

More than two thirds of those questioned thought the Scottish Executive should spend money on developing sport rather than the pounds 70million it's estimated will be needed to bring Euro 2008 to Scotland and Ireland.

Even among footballers 62 per cent preferred grass-roots investment to the European bid.

The survey also suggested 69 per cent of Scots believe Celtic and Rangers don't do enough to deal with sectarianism among their fans. And 37 per cent said they would be glad if the Old Firm left Scottish football.

More than nine out of 10 thought schools should do more to promote physical activity and 74 per cent claimed to have taken an active part in sport over the past year.

Just 41 per cent said they would support a UK football team to replace the four home nations.

Opposition to the idea of a combined side was strongest among those who played football with 63 per cent saying they would not support it.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Words:270
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