Istanbul says it retains 2020 Olympic backing

Istanbul’s bid for the 2020 Olympics retains full government

support even as Turkey seeks to host the 2020 European soccer


Istanbul’s Olympic bid, once seen as a potential front-runner,

has come under increasing scrutiny since Turkey announced its

candidacy for the soccer tournament.

”Our prime minister announced the bid himself, and Istanbul

2020 retains the same support from the same highest level,” Sports

Minister Suat Kilic said.

It’s unlikely Turkey would be granted both events. The IOC would

only award the Olympics to Istanbul on condition Turkey would not

also stage the soccer championship the same year.

”We will fulfill every requirement to win the right to host the

games,” Kilic said.

The minister spoke as Turkey’s national Olympic committee

announced plans to make Istanbul’s bid ”a key catalyst for

dramatic social change” in the country.

Also bidding for the 2020 Olympics are Madrid, Tokyo, Doha and

Baku, Azerbaijan. The IOC executive board will announce on May 23

the list of finalists. The full International Olympic Committee

will select the host city in September 2013.

The deadline for submission of Euro 2020 bids is May 15, and

Turkey is the only candidate so far.