Istanbul might have lost out to Tokyo to host the Olympic Games in 2020, but Turkey remains determined to increase its status on the global sporting stage by bidding to host stages of the European Football Championships in 2020.
In September, the Turkish Football Federation made an official application to UEFA to host the semi-finals and final of EURO 2020 in Istanbul’s Atatürk Stadium. Turkish Football Federation President Yıldırım Demirören signed the application form in Bucharest before Turkey’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Romania.
UEFA has plans for the Euro 2020 tournament to be spread across 13 cities throughout Europe, with president Michel Platini stating Turkey was his preferred choice to land the semi-finals and final of the competition. Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary and Serbia have also joined the list of countries bidding to host a stage of the tournament. UEFA will announce the 13 cities chosen to host the Euro 2020 tournament in September 2014.
The impressive Atatürk Stadium is located in the İkitelli district, in the west of Istanbul. Turkey’s largest stadium with an Olympic size seating capacity of 76,092, it is named after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first President of the Republic of Turkey. It was
completed in 2002 – at a cost of around $140million – as part of Turkey’s failed bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. With a 5-star sports complex UEFA rating, the Atatürk Stadium qualifies as a venue for UEFA finals.
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