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France want 9 or 11 stadiums for Euro 2016

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LILLE, France (AP) -France plans on using nine to 11 stadiums for the 2016 European Championship but only the Stade de France and Lille's new 50,000-capacity stadium are fully ready.

Nice's new stadium was expected next year; Saint-Etienne and Marseille were halfway through renovations; Bordeaux was just beginning its renovation, while Lyon's new 58,000-capacity Stade des Lumieres was scheduled to open for the 2015-16 season, said Jacques Lambert, president of the organizing committee, on Friday.

"Three other stadiums will start renovations between May and autumn. Lens, (Paris Saint-Germain's) Parc des Princes and Toulouse are expected to be ready in autumn of 2015," Lambert added.

UEFA president Michel Platini considers this a relatively easy challenge compared to what he faced in Ukraine, which co-hosted Euro 2012 with Poland.

"In Ukraine, stadiums were supposed to be finished in 2010 and some of them were completed in March 2012," he said. "I hope the stadiums in France are ready as quickly as possible."

Platini, part of the 1998 World Cup organizing committee in France, regrets that planning mistakes back then.

"In 1998, all the money went to the Stade de France, we invested (most of the money) into that, and the rest went on renovations (of other stadiums)," the former France midfielder said. "We wasted 15 years."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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