Turkey to promote Euro 2020 bid at Soccerex despite Olympic and Paralympic bid

Friday, 02 November 2012
By Andrew Warshaw

Yldrm Demirren_02-11-12November 2 - Turkey is using this month's Soccerex convention in Rio de Janeiro to further press its claims to stage the 2020 UEFA European Championship finals despite Istanbul's plan to host the Olympics and Paralympics the same year.

Led by its President Yıldırım Demirören (pictured top) and general secretary Emre Alkın, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) will be one of the exhibitors at the event, which takes place on November 24-28, showcasing a tailor-made Turkish Pavilion where representatives will highlight the country's credentials for hosting Euro 2020 as well as the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

Previous bidders for major football tournaments, not least the World Cup, have often used Soccerex as a lobbying platform and Turkey is also sponsoring a social evening for delegates during the convention.

"Turkey has the sixth biggest football economy in European football as well as one of the most developed football economies in the world," Demirören said.

"We believe that our financial and administrative expertise will allow us to gain strong support for our Euro 2020 bid."

Turkey's presence at Soccerex and Demirören's comments are unlikely to go down too well either with UEFA or the International Olympic Committee (IOC), both of whom have made it clear the country cannot stage the two events back to back in the same summer.

Michel Platini_and_Yldrm_Demirren_02-11-12Michel Platini has made it clear that he will not support Turkey's Euro 2020 bid if Istanbul wins the right to stage the Olympics and Paralympics in the same summer

UEFA President Michel Platini has repeatedly urged Turkey not to maintain its interest if Istanbul stages the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Platini has been widely quoted as saying he wants the Euro 2020 finals to be spread across 12 European cities rather than take place in one or two countries but only adopted that stance once Turkey's bid became increasingly unworkable because of its simultaneous interest in the Olympics.

Turkey lost out by one vote to France for the 2016 tournament but Platini, at first sympathetic to a Turkish 2020 bid, recently said he could no longer  see a way for the country to be granted host status because of the clash with the Games.

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