UEFA: Platini didn't 'promise' Euro 2020 to Turkey

UEFA: Platini didn't 'promise' Euro 2020 to Turkey

Published Jan. 20, 2012 3:56 p.m. ET

UEFA dismissed reports that its President Michel Platini promised Turkey it will host the 2020 European Championship.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Football Federation said on Friday it will consider bidding for Euro 2020 depending on whether Istanbul makes the shortlist for the 2020 Olympics.

UEFA said ''unfounded statements'' appeared in Turkish media suggesting Platini assured Turkish Football Federation officials they would win with their fourth successive bid.

''The bidding process for the selection of the hosts of UEFA Euro 2020 has not started yet and details of the process including dates have not been decided yet,'' Europe's football authority said in a statement.


Relations between Turkey and former France great Platini were briefly strained two years ago when UEFA last chose a host for its marquee international tournament.

Turkish officials were angered when UEFA executive committee members voted 7-6 for France to host Euro 2016, after outsider Italy was eliminated from the contest.

Platini didn't have a vote or take part in the final presentations, but Turkey believed he favored his home country in what became a politicized election.

During campaigning, Turkey stressed its Muslim cultural heritage and invited UEFA to ''build a new bridge between Europe and the broader geography in which Turkey is located.''

The French bid team brought President Nicolas Sarkozy, who opposes Turkey joining the European Union, to the vote in Geneva.

Sarkozy sat beside Platini during the Turkish and Italian presentations then made a key speech stressing his government's support for renovating France's football infrastructure.

UEFA is likely to invite bids to host Euro 2020 early next year, and schedule a vote around May 2014.

Ilker Ugur, head of the TFF's international events department, said by telephone that ''it is the TFF's main goal to host the Euros.''

Ugur, however, said the federation has not received any invitation from UEFA to bid for 2020, and preferred to wait and see Istanbul's fate for the 2020 Olympics.

Turks believe bidding for both events might increase the financial burden and reduce their chances.

Istanbul is among six initial bidders for the 2020 Summer Games.

The International Olympic Committee will choose a shortlist of official candidates on May 23. The games host will be chosen on Sept. 7, 2013.


AP writer Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara contributed to this report.