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TURKEY > TFF ignores Platini, launches 2020 bid

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Turkey shrugged of Michel Platini’s skepticism and announced itself as a candidate for the European Football Championships yesterday.

“As of today, we have submitted our candidacy files to [Union of European Football Associations] UEFA headquarters to host the second biggest football organization in 2020,” a statement by Turkish Football Federation (TFF) chairman Yıldırım Demirören read. “As you know, we failed to win the 2016 candidacy by just one vote.”

Turkey lost 2016 bid to France.

The submission means Turkey will run for two major events in 2020, following its bid to host the Olympic Games in Istanbul.

Last month, Platini, the head of the European football’s governing body, was skeptical about Turkey being a candidate for two major sports events in the same year.

“Turkey had a strong bid in 2016 and I think they will be even stronger in 2020,” Platini said during the UEFA Congress held in Istanbul last month. “Now the only small issue I have in respect to this, is that in 2020 Istanbul is also a candidate for the Olympics. If they have the Olympics and the Euros it’s maybe a bit of a handful.

“If Istanbul does not get the Olympic Games the Turkish bid will be a stronger bid and one that I will support and one that I will vote for. Last time [for 2016] I did not vote, but this time I will vote, because I believe Turkey should host a Euros.”

Turkey will also host two high-profile youth-level championships with the Under-19 Women’s Championship this year and the Under-20 FIFA World Cup in 2013. k HDN

April/18/2012

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