May 25 - International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge has dismissed the threat posed to a successful Istanbul 2020 Olympics and Paralympics bid by the European Championship bid from Turkey insisting that only the bid for the Games has the support of the Government there.
Istanbul's bid for the 2020 Games was shortlisted by the IOC's Executive Board here on Wednesday (May 23) as Baku and Doha were eliminated leaving just the Turkish city, Madrid and Tokyo in the race to host the Games.
One of Istanbul's biggest obstacles in the bid for the Games remains Turkey's attempt to host the European Championship finals in the same summer with UEFA President Michel Platini insisting that the two cannot be staged together.
But Rogge (pictured above) has suggested that the Olympics and Paralympics are a much bigger priority for Turkey by claiming that the Turkish Government has backed only one of the two sporting bids.
"We know there is a bid by Turkish Football Federation to host Euro 2020," Rogge said here.
"But we also know that the bid has not yet been accepted by UEFA and that there are no financial guarantees for it from the Government in Turkey.
"When we invited Istanbul from the Applicant phase of the bid to the Candidate phase of the bid, we took a strong bid forward that had been endorsed by the Turkish Government.
"That is not the case with Turkey's bid for Euro 2020 and they have not been endorsed by UEFA at this stage."
Hasan Arat (pictured above, third left), the newly installed Istanbul 2020 bid leader, has already reiterated Turkey's intent to stage the Olympics and Paralympics in the city after making the shortlist.
"The recommendation from the Working Group proves that this is a new Bid for a new Turkey," he said.
"Istanbul has learned the lessons of past Bids; we have gathered a young, dynamic and very strong team around us; and we have created a fresh and compelling concept.
"This time, Istanbul is ready to deliver."
Uğur Erdener (pictured below), Turkey's IOC member and National Olympic Committee President, has also expressed his country's full support for the Olympic and Paralympic bid.
"It is an honour to be named an official Candidate City," he said.
"This is a major step towards realising Turkey's Olympic dream.
"But now the hard work really begins, to repay the belief the Olympic family has shown in us.
"We have proven our potential to host a technically excellent Games – now we can begin to share our vision for what the Games could mean for Istanbul, Turkey and the entire Olympic Movement."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
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: Exclusive - Istanbul 2020 appoints Hasan Arat as bid leader
May 2012: Cities for 2020 Olympics and Paralympics shortlisted
May 2012: "We are in it to win it" insists Istanbul 2020
May 2012: Celtic trio submit formal Euro 2020 bid