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Turkey submits bid to host Euro 2020

Agencies
Apr 18, 2012 at 11:18pm IST

Ankara: Turkey has submitted a bid to UEFA to host the 2020 European Championships, the head of the country's football federation announced on Tuesday.

Turkey is also bidding to stage the 2020 Olympics in Istanbul. UEFA president Michel Platini has previously said he would back the country to host Euro 2020 only if it loses the Olympic bid.

The International Olympic Committee will vote on the 2020 Games in September 2013. UEFA said a hosting decision would be made in late 2013 or early 2014.

Turkey submits bid to host Euro 2020

UEFA said a hosting decision would be made in late 2013 or early 2014.

Two years ago, Turkey was edged out by France by one vote for hosting rights for the expanded 24-nation Euro 2016. Officials complained that Platini — who is French and was not allowed to vote — had favoured his home country's winning campaign.

There are concerns that bidding for Euro 2020 could jeopardize Turkey's chances of winning the Olympic rights. But officials for the Istanbul 2020 Games bid said they retain government support.

The Olympic bid team said the Euro 2020 plan "does not change any aspect of our bid."

"Turkey's Prime Minister, every level of government and every party is aligned behind the bid team and that unequivocal support will remain guaranteed throughout the bid process," a statement said. "Turkey has already guaranteed that if Istanbul is selected as the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games in September 2013, no other important national or international event will take place in Istanbul or its vicinity around the games period."

Yildirim Demiroren, head of the Turkish Football Federation, said the government has also backed projects to speed up the construction of modern football stadiums in several cities and to improve transportation infrastructure between the cities.

"We will spend every effort to host the European Championships in Turkey," Demiroren said. "The construction of modern football stadiums, backed by state guarantees, in cities around the countries and the development of transport links are among the most important elements supporting our bid."

The federation's bid comes despite Turkish football being affected by a match-fixing scandal involving more than a dozen games last season. The chairman of defending league champions Fenerbahce is among 93 club officials, players and trainers currently on trial because of the scandal, which resulted in Fenerbahce being barred from the Champions League.

Fenerbahce believes the Turkish federation was pressured by UEFA to deny its entry to Champions League, and is challenging both football organizations at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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