Turkey aiming to host Euro football championship for the first time in 2024

  • 25 Sep 2018

The UEFA will choose a country to host the Euro 2024, deciding between bids from Turkey and Germany on Thursday.

The trophy of the UEFA EURO 2024 and the tournament's Turkish logo are shown at the House of European Football on April 26, 2018 in Nyon, Switzerland. ( AA )

Turkey and Germany are in the running to host the UEFA Euro 2024. The winning bid for the country to host the football tournament will be announced at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on Thursday, September 27. 

The tournament will return to a single-host country format after Euro 2020 is held in 12 cities across Europe. The previous edition of the tournament was hosted by France alone in 2016.

Turkey – the gateway nation between Europe and Asia – has never hosted a major soccer tournament, bidding unsuccessfully to stage Euro 2008 with Greece and the 2012 and 2016 tournaments which respectively went to Poland/Ukraine and France.

After losing to France by one vote, Turkey was offered the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 – a tournament which will be staged across 12 cities in 12 nations – says Turkish Football Federation (TFF) vice president Servet Yardimci, a UEFA executive committee member.

Instead they told then UEFA president Michel Platini, who backed Turkey’s 2016 bid, they would rather hold out for 2024.

Germany also withdrew from bidding for the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final to concentrate on a 2024 bid – allowing England to host the tournament’s climax at Wembley.

Turkey’s vision for the Euro 2024 includes the motto: “We will share together.”

Why Turkey?

The Turkish bid to organise the Euro 2024 offers not only one of the best tournament conditions for teams and spectators but brings people together by improving intercultural dialogue with help from its geopolitical location spanning two continents.

Turkey's candidacy aims to inspire a wider audience to be involved in football, particularly the youth population. 

Hosting the tournament in 2024 will further mark the end of the 100-year anniversary celebrations of both Turkey and the football federation.

The Turkish Football Federation's bid was found to be motivational and attractive, according to a UEFA evaluation report.

Turkey's bid is based in nine cities from Istanbul, from the west to Trabzon in the east and Gaziantep in the south.

The country has made considerable progress to meet the requirements for hosting the tournament by building new stadiums, hotels and developing transportation infrastructure.

Cities and stadiums

Turkey is preparing for the tournament with modern stadiums, high-tech buildings and catering to other contemporary needs of football.

A file photo shows an aerial view of Ataturk Olympic Stadium, opened to public in 2002 with the capacity of 76.761, in Istanbul, Turkey.(AA)

According to Turkey’s program for Euro 2024, the final match will be played at Ataturk Olimpiyat Stadium in Istanbul.  The famous Liverpool-Milan UEFA Champions League Final in 2005 was staged at the stadium which has a capacity of 76,761 people.

It is also named in UEFA's “5 Stars” list. 

The stadium was completed in 2002, includes an amphitheatre, education classes and can cater to all kinds of organisations.

In Turkey's capital Ankara, a new stadium with a capacity of 55,000 people is still under construction and is being built in accordance with international standards. The stadium will host the semi-final match. 

Turkey’s most visited tourist destination, Antalya, on the Mediterranean Sea coast is also on the list of hosting cities of the tournament. 

An aerial view of Antalya Stadium, opened to public in 2015, in Antalya, Turkey on April 05, 2018.(AA)

The Antalya stadium, with a capacity of 32,537 people, opened in 2015 and has since been used for national and international matches. The stadium is only 20 kilometres from the airport.

Bursa, a northwestern province of Turkey, is to also host the tournament. The province boasts having over 2,000 cultural, historical and monumental buildings that are protected. 

It also bears the traces of Byzantine, Ottoman and  Republican periods. The Bursa stadium was inaugurated in 2015 and has a capacity of 43,361 people.

An aerial view of Timsah (Crocodile) Arena, opened to the public in 2015 with the capacity of 43,361 people, in Bursa, Turkey on April 5, 2018.(AA)

Gaziantep, a south-eastern province, is another host city of the tournament that many residents and visitors find attractive due to its unique ancient history and gastronomy fame. 

The province is also home to the Zeugma heritage site. Last year, the city opened a modern stadium with a capacity of 33,502 people.

An aerial view of Gaziantep Stadium, opened to the public in 2017 with the capacity of 33,502, in Gaziantep, Turkey on April 5, 2018.(AA)

The Black Sea coastal city of Trabzon is another hosting city of the tournament, where the Senol Gunes sports complex opened in 2016 has a capacity of 40,775 people. 

An aerial view of Senol Gunes Stadium, opened to public in 2016 with the capacity of 40.775, in Trabzon, Turkey on April 05, 2018.(AA)

Trabzon, located in the northern part of Turkey, is described as the city where blues meet green. 

Another city to host the tournament is Konya, known as the city of Rumi who is one of the most popular poets to write of love and mystical spirituality in the world. 

It is also home to the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony, that was introduced to the world in 2008, and has been included in UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list since then.

A file photo shows an aerial view of Konya Metropolitan Municipality Stadium, opened to public in 2014 with the capacity of 42.000in Konya, Turkey(AA)

The Konya stadium, with a capacity of 42,000 people, was completed in 2014. 

It is one of the most used stadiums in Turkey for national and international competitions.

Eskisehir and Kocaeli are also listed in the bid for the tournament with their recently completed stadiums and hospitality. 

High transportation network and accommodation opportunities

Turkey’s location, spanning both Asia and Europe, gives Euro 2024's attendees high and easy accessibility.

The football fans can reach Turkey easily with Turkish Airlines, a public company with direct flights from 120 countries to more than 300 destinations in Turkey. 

Istanbul’s new airport, expecting to be the world’s busiest airport, will enter service by end of the year further enlarging Turkey's reach. 

Turkey has developed a massive aviation network by building tens of airports in all regions of the country. 

High-speed railroad projects and an established subway network will help fans travel comfortably during the tournament. 

Turkey attracts tens of millions of tourists every year with its natural, historical and cultural sites. In 2018, the country was expecting 40 million tourists and the number increases year by year.

German bid

The German Football Association's report to the UEFA was grounded in three main pillars: grow, share and celebrate the game. 

Germany is also bidding to host the Euro 2024 and the matches will take place in stadiums in 10 cities including the historic Olympiastadion in Berlin that also hosted the 2006 World Cup final match. 

In recent years, the DFB has been rocked by fraud and racism allegations.

In 2015, German weekly Der Spiegel claimed that Germany paid $7.8 million in bribes to secure the 2006 World Cup. Wolfgang Niersbach, the then head of DFB, was forced to resign over bribery allegations, and FIFA banned him from football for a year.
Reinhard Grindel, the DFB’s current head, has been tarnished by racism allegations. 

German footballer Mesut Ozil announced his retirement from the national team this year after the country's poor showing at the Russia 2018 World Cup. He cited racism as the reason for his departure.

The DFB head later admitted that he had not been supportive enough of Ozil.