London, Istanbul Fight For Right To Stage Euro 2020 Final
The battle to stage the final and semifinals of football’s multi-venue Euro 2020 is "already looking like a shootout between London and Istanbul," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. The FA has made it clear how keen it is to host the "climax of the tournament earmarked for 12 cities across Europe." Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson and FA Chair David Bernstein traveled to Switzerland before Christmas to put their case to UEFA President Michel Platini. There is a belief around Europe that Istanbul is the favorite. Platini is "considered to owe Turkey" after it missed out to France by one vote over staging Euro 2016 and was in pole position for 2020, until Platini opted for a 12-location tournament. However, if Istanbul is to win the race to host the 2020 Olympics, to be decided in Buenos Aires, Argentina in September, then the host city agreement with the IOC "would forbid such a rival sporting distraction in the Turkish capital so close to the Games" (DAILY MAIL, 1/8).