Minggu, 29 April 2012

Turkish delight mixed with regret

Germany has announced it will not bid for Euro 2020, leaving Turkey with a clear field to host the tournament.

Tuesday the 15th of May is the deadline for bids to be received at UEFA headquarters, but if no other nation submits an application, it is probable the announcement of the winning Turkish bid will be brought forward from December 2013 or January 2014.

Having missed out on Euro 2016 by a single vote, in an election UEFA President Michel Platini was strongly rumoured to have influenced in favour of his home nation, Turkey should be celebrating winning the rights to host 2020.

However, Istanbul is also in the running for that summer's Olympic Games, yet the city's bid, which the Turkish government is understood to prefer to the European Championships, will be shot down in flames should no other European nation bid for Euro 2020. UEFA and the IOC have made it clear that no country will host both major tournaments within the space of a couple of months.

Bulgaria-Romania and the Netherlands ruled themselves out last month, apparently in the belief Turkey was a shoe-in, while the Deutscher Fussball Bund implied the same as it withdrew its bid this week, claiming it was time for other nations to host the competition.


The opposition now looks non-existent. Italy is beset with fan violence and match-fixing, while Spain's acute economic woes mean the country has more pressing concerns with an unemployment rate of 24.4%.

Noises about joint bids from Hungary & Romania and from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia have gone quiet recently, leaving Azerbaijan & Georgia as the last potential challengers.

The Azerbaijani capital Baku however, is also bidding for the 2020 Olympics, the deadline for whose bids falls on the 23rd of May, a week after that of Euro 2012.



Hosts since 1980
Euro 1980: Italy
Euro 1984: France
Euro 1988: West Germany
Euro 1992: Sweden
Euro 1996: England
Euro 2000: Belgium & Netherlands
Euro 2004: Portugal
Euro 2008: Austria & Switzerland
Euro 2012: Poland & Ukraine
Euro 2016: France


(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

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