Ta­ble: Events to be awarded

Sportcal - - CONTENTS -

The si­mul­ta­ne­ous bid­ding races to host the Olympic Games and soc­cer’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships in 2020 are heat­ing up, with Tur­key still con­tentiously in­volved in both pro­cesses. The Olympics hopes of Baku and Doha were shat­tered af­ter the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee’s ex­ec­u­tive board omit­ted the cities from a short­list an­nounced on May 23, leav­ing Is­tan­bul, Madrid and Tokyo to bat­tle it out for the right to stage the games.

Tur­key is al­ready re­garded as a strong con­tender for Euro 2020 af­ter it nar­rowly lost out to France in the race to host Euro 2016, but the sit­u­a­tion is com­pli­cated by Is­tan­bul’s con­tin­u­ing Olympics cam­paign.

Hasan Arat, chair­man of Is­tan­bul 2020, in­sists its bid takes prece­dence, say­ing: “Our pri­or­ity is the Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games. Noth­ing has changed. Tur­key al­ready gave writ­ten ap­proval from the prime min­is­ter, cab­i­net min­is­ters and the mayor. It is a gov­ern­ment-guar­an­teed bid. [The Euro 2020 bid] is just a let­ter from the FA [the Turk­ish football as­so­ci­a­tion]. It’s noth­ing from the gov­ern­ment.”

Jac­ques Rogge, pres­i­dent of the IOC, and Michel Pla­tini, his coun­ter­part at Uefa, Euro­pean soc­cer’s gov­ern­ing body, have both de­clared that the Olympics and the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships can­not be held in the same coun­try in the same year and the Is­tan­bul bid is now seek­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment to en­sure its sup­port for the games over the Euro 2020 bid.

Azer­bai­jan’s dis­ap­point­ment at Baku not be­ing short­listed for the Olympics was quickly tem­pered by the coun­try’s na­tional soc­cer fed­er­a­tion vow­ing to pro­ceed with a joint bid with Ge­or­gia to host Euro 2020. Other po­ten­tial bid­ders in­clude a joint ap­pli­ca­tion from Scot­land, Wales and the Repub­lic of Ire­land.

How­ever, Pla­tini has thrown open the pos­si­bil­ity of mul­ti­ple cities across the con­ti­nent stag­ing Euro 2020 matches, say­ing af­ter a Uefa ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing in Kiev at the end of June: “We could ei­ther have one coun­try with 12 host cities or have it in 12 or 13 cities across Europe.

He added: “We won’t need to build air­ports and sta­di­ums es­pe­cially at this mo­ment in time when we have the eco­nomic cri­sis. It’s just an idea but it is an idea I re­ally feel pas­sion­ately about. The ma­jor­ity of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee think it’s a good idea.”

Euro 2016 will be the first Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship to have 24 teams, up from the 16 which com­peted in Poland and Ukraine this year, but there have been doubts over the num­ber of coun­tries ca­pa­ble of host­ing a tour­na­ment of that size, which would re­quire around 12 sta­dia, in 2020.

Uefa said it will hold dis­cus­sions with all na­tional as­so­ci­a­tions that will con­clude with the pub­li­ca­tion of de­tailed bid reg­u­la­tions in De­cem­ber. From that point on­wards, as­so­ci­a­tions in­ter­ested in bid­ding will be obliged to pre­pare doc­u­men­ta­tion ready for the dead­line to sub­mit bids to Uefa in Septem­ber 2013.

The host of the 2020 Olympics will be de­cided in a vote at the IOC Ses­sion in Buenos Aires, Ar­gentina on Septem­ber 7, 2013, while Uefa has said that the host for Euro 2020 will be se­lected in May 2014.

Source: Sportcal

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