Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan began the race to host the European Championships in 2020
on Thursday when he said his country would like to stage the
event for the first time.
In a speech to delegates at the opening of the UEFA
Congress, Erdogan said: "I would like to repeat the request to
host the European Championships in Istanbul in 2020."
The proposal comes as a blow to Istanbul's 2020 Olympic
candidacy as bidding for two major events which are usually held
only weeks apart is unlikely to be successful.
UEFA President Michel Platini questioned Turkey's ability to
host both events in the same year.
"I heard what the prime minister said and we will see what
countries present bids. Turkey had a strong bid in 2016 and I
think they will be even stronger in 2020.
"Now the only small issue I have in respect to this is that
in 2020 Istanbul is also a candidate for the Olympics so if they
have the Olympics and the Euros it's maybe a bit of a handful,"
Platini told reporters after UEFA's congress in the Turkish
"If Istanbul does not get the Olympic Games the Turkish bid
will be a stronger bid and one that I will support and one that
I will vote for. Last time [for 2016] I did not vote, but this
time I will vote for , because I believe Turkey should host a
The International Olympic Committee will elect the winning
bid for the 2020 Games in September next year with Qatar's Doha,
Madrid, Tokyo and Azerbaijan's Baku also in the running.
"Honestly, if Istanbul already has the Olympics before then
I won't vote for Turkey because it is impossible to have the
Olympic Games and the Euros in the same month in the same city.
That's my position," Platini said.
Erdogan's announcement comes as Turkish footballing
authorities grapple with a match-fixing investigation, under
which 93 people including the chairman of champions Fenerbahce
are being tried in an Istanbul court.
UEFA will formally start the bidding process next week when
all 53 nations will be invited to apply for what is generally
regarded as the world's third biggest sports event after the
summer Olympic Games and the World Cup.
The tournament, first staged with four teams in 1960, will
have 24 finalists from 2016 onwards which limits the number of
countries who can stage it single-handedly.
Turkey lost out by a single vote to France in a bid to stage
the 2016 finals.
Istanbul 2020 Games bid officials said the country's support
for the Olympics remained guaranteed despite a likely Euro 2020
"Turkey's president, prime minister and sports minister have
repeatedly reiterated that Istanbul 2020 is a strategic national
priority, and a personal passion," bid officials told Reuters in
an emailed statement.
"Every level of government and every party is aligned behind
this bid: the Olympic and Paralympic Games are seen as a crucial
stimulus for Turkey's national development strategy. Should
Turkey bid for Euro 2020, that level of commitment will remain
guaranteed," they said.
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010