Turkey guaranteed 2020 European Football Championships

Turkey guaranteed 2020 European Football Championships

Turkey guaranteed 2020 European Football Championships

In this file photo from last year, UEFA President Platini (R) speaks with UEFA Vice President Şenes Erzik (L) and TFF Chairman Aydınlar. Turkey has been promised to be given the Euro 2020 host status, according to a claim by TMOK vice chairman Türker Arslan. Hürriyet photo

Turkey has got an unofficial promise from the UEFA President, Michel Platini, to host the 2020 European Football Championships, a key figure in the country’s Olympic Committee has claimed.

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.”

Turkey competed and lost to France, the country which Platini represented as a professional footballer, to host Euro 2016. After France won the bid in 2010 there was heavy criticism toward Platini with claims that he favored his country.

Arslan’s remarks came during a speech in which he was talking about Istanbul’s preparations for the bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

A member of the preparation committee, Yalçın Aksoy, responded to Arslan during the meeting, saying that running for both high-profile events for the same year would hurt Turkey’s bid.

“If Euro 2020 was granted to Turkey, winning the Olympics bid would be a dream,” Aksoy was quoted as saying by the daily Sabah. “Both events require huge amounts of money. There are huge investments for the 2020 Olympics. If the TFF says that it is running for the Euro 2020 host status, we will definitely lose the bid for the Olympics.”

Meanwhile, Aydınlar was in Nyon, Switzerland, yesterday to meet UEFA officials. The main agenda was not the European Football Championships, however, but the match-fixing case. The TFF chairman met UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino and Director of Legal Affairs Alasdair Bell on the issue.

Aydınlar spoke to reporters at the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul on Jan. 18 before his flight to Switzerland and said it was “not a critical summit” as the media suggested, but “a routine meeting.”

Currently 93 officials, players and coaches are listed as suspects in the match-fixing case regarding several games from the top two divisions of last season. Eight football clubs are involved in the investigation and the TFF is yet to decide on the possible sanctions on the suspects as well as the teams.

The TFF will convene in Istanbul next week to reconsider the 58th article of its Disciplinary Code, which states that any “attempts to manipulate games will be hit with a relegation ban.”