Germany beats Turkey for right to host Euro '24

NYON (Switzerland) • Germany won the race to host football's 2024 European Championship, as Uefa backed a bid seen as safer than the rival Turkish proposal.

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin announced the winner yesterday, following a campaign that saw politics and concerns over human rights in Turkey play a central role. Germany last staged the event as West Germany in 1988.

Former Germany captain Philipp Lahm, who will head the organising committee, added: "We want to put on a huge football festival and show the world how hospitable we are."

Uefa considered that the German bid already had everything in place to host a successful event - from stadiums to infrastructure and hotels. European football's governing body has also said it wants to make as much money as possible from the 2024 tournament and Germany was considered the better financial bet.

The win also offers a boost to German football after a disastrous 2018 World Cup, when the holders failed to qualify for the last 16.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the 2024 tournament "will be an opportunity to show what we stand for in Germany: openness to the world and tolerance, freedom and respect".

Turkey had been desperate to host its first major sporting event but its bid was weakened by doubts over its faltering economy and poor infrastructure.

Its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government's unprecedented crackdown, including thousands of arrests, following a failed 2016 coup had also raised anxieties worldwide.

Uefa noted in its evaluation report that the Turkish bid's "lack of action plan in the area of human rights is a matter of concern".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2018, with the headline 'Germany beats Turkey for right to host Euro '24'. Print Edition | Subscribe