Boost for Istanbul 2020 as Platini launches radical new plan for European Championships
Saturday, 30 June 2012
June 30 - Turkey's controversial interest in hosting football's European Championships as well as the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 hit a serious snag today when UEFA President Michel Platini made it clear he was running out of patience.
Platini (pictured top) has already warned Turkey, which lost out by one vote to France for the 2016 event, that he will not support a bid for 2020 if Istanbul is awarded the Summer Games in the same year.
But he did come up with a radical compromise which means that Turkey could still be involved in hosting the European Championships while being able to stage the Olympics and Paralympics.
At a news conference today on the eve of tomrrow's Euro 2012 final between holders Spain and Italy, Platini revealed the 2020 European Championships could be staged across the continent instead of by one or two host nations.
"This matter will be discussed very seriously," he declared.
"We will have a great debate about 2020 and discuss the pros and cons.
"The Euros in 2020 could be held all over Europe – it could be either one country and 12 stadiums, or one stadium in 12 or 13 cities.
"It's an idea I feel really passionate about – it will be a lot easier from a financial perspective."
The 2016 event will be the first to comprise 24 teams, eight more than at present.
However, fewer and fewer countries have the infrastructure or funds to cope with an expanded tournament – and although Turkey would be in a position to host it, Platini did not mince his words.
The principle of multiple hosting, he said, would probably be taken in December of January – several months before Istanbul discovers if it has won the Olympic bid.
"We are not going to wait until we know whether or not Turkey are going to get the Olympics," said Platini.
"It creates a problem for us.
"We do have other candidates – everyone has the possibility to host it."
May 2012: We have Government guarantees from Istanbul, Euro 2020 does not, says Rogge
May 2012: If they get the Olympics they won't get the Euros, insists UEFA boss as Istanbul is shortlisted to host 2020 Games
May 2012: "We are in it to win it" insists Istanbul 2020
May 2012: Exclusive - IOC faces tough decision on Istanbul 2020 Olympic bid, admits Sir Craig Reedie
May 2012: Rogge tells Turkey to choose between Olympics and European Championships