Germany favoured over Turkey in Euro 2024 bidding
Germany is favoured to win a vote to host the Euro 2024 football championships, USA Today reported.
It is the first time human rights is being used as a factor in tournament bidding. A study of the two candidates’ bids published by UEFA last week showed Turkey’s bid falling short. The UEFA Executive Committee will select the host association for UEFA EURO 2024 on Thursday 27 September 2018, according to UEFA.com.
Turkey though has put in its strongest bid yet, thanks in part to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s love of football. Turkey’s authoritarian leader is a fan of Fenerbahce, and Kasimpasa in Istanbul, where Erdogan grew up, now has a strong team in the Turkish Super Lig, thanks to big investments in the club.
The decision comes on Thursday, just as Erdogan flies to Germany to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel. He will also open a large mosque in the city of Cologne that is sponsored by Turkey’s religious affairs directorate along with scores of other mosques in the country.
Germany's bid leans on its World Cup stadiums and positive memories of a fan-friendly event in 2006 that proved very profitable for FIFA, the newspaper said.
Germany has underscored its strengths on social issues, inviting comparisons with an Erdogan government that has punished free speech and removed tens of thousands of public officials from office accusing them of involvement in a failed coup in 2016. Some 175 journalists also remain in Turkish jails, along with more than a dozen German citizens.
"The lack of an action plan in the area of human rights is a matter of concern," UEFA said in its evaluation report on Turkey’s bid, according to USA Today.
Turkey, in turn, has sought to depict the German football federation as racist and corrupt. An article published earlier this week by Turkey’s state-run news agency, run by a former adviser of Erdogan, was highly critical of the German bid. It drew attention to the German federation’s failure to counter racist abuse against Turkish footballer Mesut Ozil, who played for Germany in this year’s World Cup, and allegations of corruption surrounding the 2006 World Cup.