By Duncan Mackay

Scotland fans celebratingJune 28 - Scotland are among seven countries interested in hosting the 2017 UEFA Women's European Championships.

The Scottish Football Association has been invited by the European governing body to attend an observer programme during Euro 2013 which kicks off in Sweden next month.

The other interested nations are Austria, France, Israel, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland.

All potential hosts will know the requirements by the end of the year and have until October 2014 to submit bids.

A decision is expected in December 2014.

Scotland lost out to Spain in a play-off for a place at Euro 2013, with a last-minute goal in extra-time sending the Spaniards through 4-3 on aggregate.

In the latest FIFA rankings published earlier this month Scotland are placed 11th in Europe and 20th in the world.

Scotland are among six countries currently participating in UEFA's women's football development programme, along with Austria, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Russia, and have plans to develop the Scottish Women's Premier League. 

Aberdeen groundPittodrie in Aberdeen could be among the grounds used if Scotland is awarded the 2017 UEFA Women's European Championships

Scotland has enough top-class stadiums to successfully host Euro 2017, with Hampden Park, Celtic Park and Ibrox in Glasgow expected to be among those that could stage matches, along with Easter Road and Tynecastle in the capital Edinburgh and Pittodrie in Aberdeen.

Scotland's policy of bidding to host major events is proving increasingly successful.

Next year they are due to host the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles.

They are also due to stage the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships and only yesterday were awarded the European Judo Championships, which will also be staged in 2015.

Both events are due to take place in Glasgow, which is also bidding for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games, with a decision due to be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne next Thursday (July 4).

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]