GLASGOW is set to face competition from up to five bidding rivals in its quest to bring athletics' European Indoor Championships in 2019 to the Emirates Arena, it was revealed last night.

European Athletics officials, speaking at this year's edition in Prague, confirmed that expressions of interest have also been received from the federations of Belarus, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Portugal and Poland.

The potential depth of the field will not deter the Glaswegian challenge with officials spending the past two days in the Czech Republic on an initial lobbying trip to advance their plans, as well as picking up insights from what has been seen as a highly successful event.

It is understood high-level backing from the Scottish Government has already been agreed to support any bid although the door appears to have been shut on the idea of utilising the higher-capacity Hydro Arena in Glasgow over the 5000-seater Emirates Arena, which was built ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

"It would be natural fit for the Emirates Arena," said EventScotland chief executive Paul Bush. "Now we have the Indoor Grand Prix in 2016 and 2018, it would follow on perfectly from that. They're looking for cities with capacity and capability. Glasgow can easily demonstrate that. They're looking for strong support from the home federation, which we have from both UK and Scottish Athletics, as well as from the city and government. And there's a strong track record of attracting good crowds in Glasgow."

The bid team in Glasgow will now have around six months to pull together a formal submission before a vote is tabled on the applicants.

"The formal process starts in June with a bidding seminar in Lausanne for the currently interested Member Federations," said European Athletics communications director James Mulligan. "The decision will probably come in the first part of 2016."