Turkey Rule Out Euro 2020 Bid as Olympics Takes Priority

February 28, 2013

By Steve Moorhouse

No city in Turkey will bid to host a match at Euro 2020 because the Prime Minister has the Olympic flame ‘in his heart.’ 

The country was originally the favourite to land the 2020 version of Europe’s largest football tournament before the format was changed. 

Euro 2020 will be played across the continent, cheap rather than in one or two countries, with cities bidding to host individual matches. Turkey could still be eligible to bid for one or two matches of the tournament.

However, Hasan Arat (pictured left), Chairman of the Istanbul 2020 Bid, has confirmed that Turkey is no longer interested in hosting a football match, because the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an is fully focused on hosting the Olympic Games. 

Arat said: “The Olympics is a national priority for Turkey. The football bid was a talk between the Turkish Football Federation and UEFA. 

“The Prime Minister said, ‘the Olympic flame is in my heart and now I want to hold it.’” 

The Istanbul 2020 bid has gathered more support in the country in recent times, with 94% of Istanbul residents saying they are in favour of hosting the Games, whilst 89% nationally said they would like Istanbul to host the 2020 Games.