Turkey’s turn to host football Euros, says football chief

Turkey football fans will be celebrating wildly if they land the Euro 2024 tournament. (AFP)
Updated 15 May 2018
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Turkey’s turn to host football Euros, says football chief

  • Germany are the other nation bidding to host tournament
  • Turkey 'upset' they lost 2016 bid by one vote

LONDON: Turkey has earned the right to host the European Football Championship as it goes head to head with Germany in the battle to stage the 2024 tournament, said federation vice president Servet Yardimci.
Yardimci, who is also on UEFA’s executive committee, said the country was the only one of Europe’s six biggest economies that had not yet hosted the continental championship.
Having lost out to France by one vote for the 2016 edition and then withdrawn from the bid to host the semifinals and final of the multi-nation 2020 tournament, Turkey is up against stiff competition in Germany, with the vote taking place at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland on September 27.
Yardimci told reporters in London that Turkish authorities did not believe they had taken a gamble by declining the chance to host the climax to the 2020 edition.
“It was just a decision at the time, maybe we were upset we lost 2016 by one vote so we said we deserve to have the whole tournament,” he said.
“We said we will wait, we are patient. We made it clear we would be ready and prepared for the whole tournament. We are the sixth strongest economy in Europe, out of which Turkey is the only one not to host the tournament.”
Yardimci said he did not believe the enforced departure of disgraced former UEFA president Michel Platini had harmed the chances of the country, making its fourth bid for the Euros.
Platini, who was banned for eight years (since reduced to four) from football for receiving an illegal payment from former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, had pledged to support a Turkish bid after Turkey lost out to France.
“Platini’s successor Aleksander Ceferin is a great guy, very serious and really determined,” said Yardimci. “He always says this is going to be interesting and difficult, two powerful nations are bidding.
“The advantage to Turkey is we think our bid is the best we have delivered so far but Germany is a powerful opponent whom we respect. Turkey is also a powerful nation and can deliver maybe better than Germany.”
Yardimci downplayed concerns over Turkey’s human rights record.
A state of emergency was introduced following an attempted coup in July 2016 and more than 1,300 associations and foundations have been shut down under the measures.
“Turkey does respect the human rights treaty. We have signed it and continue to comply with it,” said Yardimci.
“Turkey in eight years has grown and developed as much as it would have developed in 80 years, it is a strong developing country.”
Yardimci said eight stadiums were already fit for purpose, adding: “Turkey are ready now to host the tournament, we have exceeded our promises and commitments.”


Australia end T20 losing streak with 4-run win over India in Brisbane

Updated 36 min 57 sec ago
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Australia end T20 losing streak with 4-run win over India in Brisbane

BRISBANE: Australia allrounder Marcus Stoinis took two wickets in the last over Wednesday as India’s batting lineup collapsed late to lose their tour-opening Twenty20 international by four runs.
Virat Kohli returned to lead India after skipping the previous series against West Indies and, after winning the toss and sending Australia in to bat, had a below-par night, dropping a regulation catch in the fourth over, misfielding later in the innings and getting out for four.
The Australians posted 158-4 in a rain-interrupted 17 overs with Glenn Maxwell (46 from 24 balls) and Chris Lynn (37 from 20 balls) each belting four sixes and Stoinis finishing unbeaten on 33.
The rain delay brought the Duckworth-Lewis rules into play, giving India a revised target of 174 from 17 overs.
Shikhar Dhawan set India up in its run chase with a 42-ball 76 that included 10 boundaries and two sixes, including one over backward square to raise his half century.
He had a reprieve on 65 when Adam Zampa put down a return catch, but was finally out upper cutting a short ball from Billy Stanlake to Jason Behrendorff on the third man boundary as India slipped to 105-4 in the 12th over.
His wicket came in a period when India lost 3-24, and seemed to give Australia the advantage. But Rishabh Pant (20) and Dinesh Karthik (30) took up the attack and plundered 25 from one over by Andrew Tye after a tactical blunder by Australia captain Aaron Finch, who lost track of the new bowling restrictions.
The pair put on 51 for the fifth wicket to give India the ascendancy before Pant paddled an easy catch to Behrendorff off Tye’s bowling to again swing the momentum, leaving India needing 18 runs from nine balls.
Stoinis bowled the last over, with India needing 13 runs, and took pace off the ball as he picked up the wickets of Krunal Pandya and Karthik before India finished 169-7.
Kohli described it as a “sort of see-saw battle” and Dhawan said the India squad wasn’t overly disappointed with the narrow loss.
A missed runout when Maxwell was on 9 and a few dropped catches were momentary setbacks for India, Dhawan said, but “we got a lot of confidence out of this game and we’re going to take it forward for the next game.”
Stoinis said he enjoyed the pressure of bowling the last over and hoped Australia was turning a corner after losing four consecutive T20s.
“We’ve got good memories in the team,” he said. “We dominated T20s last year. We were No. 1 or 2 in the world rankings not long ago. We’re confident.”
India has won its last seven T20 series, and Kohli’s squad is using the three-game series in the shortest format to fine-tune for the bigger prize starting next month when it chases its first ever test series victory in Australia.
Australian cricket has been in turmoil since a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March and is coming off back-to-back series losses to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and at home against South Africa.
On top of that, Australia was missing frontline bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon, who were preparing for the four-match test series which kicks off Dec. 6 in Adelaide.