Turkey “not European enough” to host Euro 2016
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France has been chosen to host the World Cup in 2016, leaving Turkey's hopes thwarted for a third time. One of our Observers in Istanbul says that the decision was swayed by political arguments. Read more...
Image posted on Flickr by Ksenia Kavas.
France has been chosen to host the World Cup in 2016, leaving Turkey's hopes thwarted for a third time. One of our Observers in Istanbul says that the decision was swayed by political arguments.
The vote, taken out by the UEFA executive committee, was announced on Friday afternoon in Geneva, Switzerland. France pipped Turkey to the post with seven votes over six. Italy was ruled out in the first round.
This is the third consecutive time Turkey has been outvoted: they were trumped by Switzerland and Austria in 2008 and Ukraine and Poland in 2012
France has already hosted the Euro twice, once in 1960 (a four-team predecessor), and again in 1984. They also hosted the World Cup in 1998.
“They blame it on poor transport and infrastructure, but Ukraine is in no better state”
Yakir Mizrahi is a sports journalist from Istanbul.
We are incredibly disappointed with UEFA's decision. It seems particularly unfair to us because France and Italy have already hosted the championship twice before [Italy in 1968 and 1980]. For Turkey, on the other hand, this is the third time we've been knocked back.
We get the feeling that by refusing us the opportunity to host the event, we're being sent a political message, as though we're not European enough to do it. They blame it on poor transport and infrastructure, but Ukraine, which is hosting the Euro in 2012, is in no better state.
And to top it off, UEFA president Michel Platini showed disrespect for our president. When French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived at the conference in Geneva, Platini stood up and introduced him to the executive committee members. But when our president, Abdullah Gul, arrived, he couldn't be bothered to get out of his seat. The local press is treating that as an offence to Turkey. I don't think the Turks will be quick to forget this, nor the unfair decision."