Monday, December 10, 2012

Turkey deserves Euro 2020 final rights

The one nation to reject UEFA’s proposals for a continent-wide 2020 European Championships was Turkey. They were right to do so. The Turkish FA had been planning a bid to host the tournament themselves yet were scuppered by UEFA president Michel Platini’s insistence that Euro 2020 should have numerous host cities.

The corridors of the Turkish FA must have been shaking as UEFA’s executive committee made the decision in Lausanne last Thursday. It was the brainchild of Platini and received much criticism when first voiced last year, yet support has grown for the idea after witnessing financial and infrastructure difficulties leading up to Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

So, UEFA have taken the decision to stage a Europe-wide tournament, leaving Turkey in the cold. Instead of welcoming nations to bid for the tournament, potential stadiums will vie for the chance to become one of 12 or 13 host cities across the continent.

As good as this idea may be, does anyone else not feel that Turkey has been cast aside here? Had FIFA pondered the possibility of hosting a global 2018 World Cup when England were bidding for the rights two years ago there would have been uproar.

Turkey’s build-up efforts for their bid have been completely ignored by UEFA and European football in general; isolating their FA and making them look like ‘the bad guys’ for objecting to Platini’s idea.

There must be some sort of compensation for Turkey, who were led down a glitzy avenue only to be bundled into a dark closet and muffled. There are reports the FA will bid for Wembley to host the final. Well, why not give that honour to Turkey, the only country that bothered to show interest in the first place? Turks will certainly be of a nervous disposition when the IOC decides between Turkey, Madrid and Tokyo for the right to host the 2020 Olympics next September.

Istanbul has hosted major games before and Turkey was ready to invest millions into infrastructure. Galatasaray’s fantastic new 52,000-seater stadium proves the Turks can stage games to UEFA standard and so should rightly host the Euro 2020 final.

Don’t forget to head to Betfair for all the latest CapitalOne Cup Betting markets now we have reached the quarter-final stage. Plus you can also use their Football In-play betting markets to have a bet while the match is being played.

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