UEFA: Platini didn’t ‘promise’ Euro 2020
NYON, Switzerland - The Associated Press
AFP photoUEFA dismissed reports that its President Michel Platini promised Turkey it will host the 2020 European Championship.
UEFA said “unfounded statements” appeared in Turkish media suggesting Platini assured Turkish football officials they would win with their fourth successive bid.
UEFA said the Euro 2020 bidding process hasn’t started, nor a timetable agreed.
Earlier this week, Türker Arslan, the vice chairman of Turkey’s National Olympic Committee (TMOK), said during a panel in Antalya that the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) chairman Mehmet Ali Aydınlar got the word from Platini, the head of the continental governing body of the game.
“Mr. Aydınlar has told me that UEFA President Platini gave him the word to host Euro 2020,” Arslan said. “They really believe that they will win the bid.”
İlker Uğur, head of the TFF’s international events department, said by telephone that “it is the TFF’s main goal to host the Euros.”
Uğur, 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 Olympic Games.
Uğur believed bidding for both events might increase the financial burden and reduce Turkey’s chances.
Turkish officials were angered two years ago when UEFA’s executive committee voted 7-6 for France to host Euro 2016.
Platini didn’t vote, but Turkey believed he favored his home country in what became a politicized election.
France President Nicolas Sarkozy, who opposes Turkey joining the European Union, made a key speech immediately before the vote in Geneva.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Football Federation said on Jan. 20 it will consider bidding for Euro 2020 depending on whether Istanbul makes the shortlist for the 2020 Olympics.