Sports: Germany to host Euro 2024
Germany won the right to host the 2024 European Championship after beating Turkey in UEFA vote.
Nyon, Switzerland (dpa) - Germany was on Thursday elected host of Euro 2024, beating rival Turkey in a vote by the executive committee of European football ruling body UEFA, to stage the tournament for a second time.
UEFA's executive committee voted 12-4 in favour of Germany, with one vote invalid, according to German football federation (DFB) chief Reinhard Grindel.
The vote at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon came after final 15-minute presentations from both bidders, and a technical evaluation report released last week which appeared to give Germany slightly better marks.
Germany hosted Euro 1988, and Munich is also among the venues for the pan-European 2020 edition. The nation has also staged two World Cups, in 1974 and 2006, giving it a big edge in experience to host such events.
Turkey failed for the fourth time to land a major tournament, the earlier unsuccessful bids coming for Euro 2008, 2012 and 2016.
"We had two very strong bids," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said, speaking of "two footballing nations" before he opened the envelope with Germany written on a piece of paper.
The outcome led to huge delight in the German camp including Grindel, national team coach Joachim Loew and 2014 World Cup winning captain Philipp Lahm, who is designated to head the organizing committee.
"We have great stadiums, we have the spectators who love to go to the stadium," Lahm said. "We want to celebrate a huge party in Germany, we are hospitable, we want to show it again at Euro 2024."
Grindel said: "We know what hosting the Euro means. I am happy that we could convince with our concept. It is a good day for professional and amateur football in Germany. Thank you for the faith we will do everything to justify it."
There was naturally disappointment in Turkey, with the nation's Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoglu saying the decision was "saddening for UEFA and for Euro 2024.
"Our strength, quality in terms of (this) organization is obvious. It is clear that we have new facilities, stadiums. There is nothing we have lost as a country,” Kasapoglu said in remarks to Turkish TV stations.
But Germany got better marks in the evaluation report in areas including infrastructure and human rights, as UEFA raised question marks on Turkey's economic situation.
The affair around dubious payments in connection with the 2006 World Cup did not harm the German bid, nor did the national team retirement of midfielder Mesut Oezil amid racism accusations in connection with a photo taken with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who arrived in Berlin earlier Thursday for a state visit.
The 24-team, 51 match-tournament is to be played in 10 German cities - Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich, Stuttgart, with some 2.8 million tickets to go on public sale, according to the bid book.
Dusseldorf is the only city added which did not host 2006 World Cup games. The 2024 final is to be played in Munich or Berlin.
Germany's overall stadium capacity of 536,145 is more than 60,000 greater than that of the 10 proposed Turkish venues, which offers higher revenues despite the requirement to pay taxes in the country.
The nation will hope to relive the party atmosphere of the 2006 World Cup which was dubbed the "Sommermärchen" (summer fairy tale).
Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff said the team wants to do well at the event and possibly get a second home title, following the 1974 World Cup. Germany went out in the semis at Euro 1988 and the 2006 World Cup.
"There is always the ambition to present a good team apart from good organization and to develop football in a general sense," Bierhoff said.