Rogge tells Turkey to choose between Olympics and European Championships
Thursday, 10 May 2012
May 10 - Istanbul have been told by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge that they will not be allowed to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics if Turkey stages football's European Championships in the same year.
The warning is a severe blow to Turkish officials, who had begun privately lobbying senior IOC members, claiming that they had the resources to stage both events.
But Rogge has now killed that plan by reminding them that under the terms of the Host City contract a country cannot hold another major sports event in the same year.
The UEFA deadline for countries close next Tuesday (May 15) and, unless there is a late bid from somebody unexpected, Turkey will be the only candidate.
UEFA President Michel Platini wants the event to be awarded to Turkey, who lost out by only vote to France for the right to host Euro 2016, but, like Rogge, does not believe they can host both events in such a short period of time.
Istanbul must now try to find a solution before the IOC's ruling Executive Board meets at Quebec City on May 23 to decide which cities should be put on the shortlist.
Istanbul is bidding against Baku, Doha, Madrid and Tokyo.
"Initially they [Istanbul] will be judged on their technical capacity on May 23 in Quebec City," said Rogge.
"In other words their potential to host the Games.
"On September 7 next year [at the IOC Session] in Buenos Aires, if Istanbul is elected we will respectfully ask them not to host the  European Championships.
"Ultimately, it will be for the [Turkish] Government [in Ankara] to make their mind up but I would say the election would be conditional on not organising another competition."
Rogge's comments have coincided with the National Olympic Committee of Turkey (NOCT) launching a new strategic plan with a successful bid from Istanbul for the 2020 Games at its heart.
At the launch of the plan Turkey's Sports Minister Suat Kılıç claimed that hosting the Olympics remained a national priority and still has the full backing of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
"We will fulfil every requirement to win the right to host the Games, under the leadership of our Prime Minister," said Kılıç.
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