Germany Euro 2024 bid marred by racism  – Turkey state-run agency

Germany’s bid to host the Euro 2024 football championships is being overshadowed by racism and bribery scandals, Turkey’s state-run news agency said.

Turkey and Germany are competing to host the tournament. UEFA will announce its decision on Thursday after evaluating the bids.

Four out of 10 candidate host cities for the championships in Germany are not members of the European Coalition of Cities against Racism, the Anadolu agency said, citing a report last week by UEFA.

Furthermore, Reinhard Grindel, the German football federation’s chief, is facing racism allegations over his lack of support for ethnic Turkish footballer Mesut Ozil, who was the subject of hate mail, threatening comments and racial abuse on social media, Anadolu said. Grindel later apologised for his inaction, it said.

Anadolu is run by Senol Kazanci, a former adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a founder of his ruling party’s youth wing.

In an evaluation report last week, UEFA said Turkey’s bid was compromised by concern about whether the government would respect the freedom of speech of visiting fans, along with issues regarding infrastructure, including insufficient transport, hotel and training facilities.

The German football federation has also been embroiled in allegations of fraud, in particular concerning an alleged 6.7 million-euro bribe it paid to secure the 2006 World Cup, Anadolu said.

The news agency said German fans protested the bid to host the championships at matches over the past few days. On Friday, Stuttgart fans raised a banner reading: “United by Money: Corrupt in the center of Europe". The words mocked Germany’s Euro 2024 bid slogan, "United By Football: Together in the center of Europe", it said.