Turkey Launches Euro 2020 Bid

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Turkish Football Federation president Yildirim Demiroren announces the Euro 2020 bid. (TFF)
(WFI) Turkey will try again for the UEFA showpiece, launching a bid Tuesday for Euro 2020.

The country famously missed out on Euro 2016 to France by just one vote in elections held two years ago. 

“Since then, the Turkish footballing economy has grown to become the sixth largest in Europe, we have hosted the U19 Euro Championships and the U20 FIFA World Cup,” Turkish Football Federation president Yildirim Demiroren said Tuesday in his statement unveiling the bid.

“We are currently in the process of building state-of-the-art stadiums across the country and huge developments have been made in improving the transportation networks between cities in Turkey." 

Tuesday's announcement comes almost a month after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged UEFA president Michel Platini to award Turkey the football finals in a speech to the UEFA Congress in Istanbul, after which Platini indicated he would he would support Turkey's candidacy only if Istanbul's ongoing bid for the 2020 Olympics failed.

The International Olympic Committee awards hosting rights in September 2013, and the deadlines approaching in the meantime are bad news for all involved.

UEFA's cutoff for expressions of interest is May 15, just a week before the IOC decides its shortlist of 2020 candidate cities on May 23.

It’s unclear how Platini's tune would change should he receive only the single Euro 2020 bid and Istanbul win the IOC vote in 2013. UEFA could re-open the nominations should Turkey be the only applicant. The vote on the 2020 host country is set for May 2014.

It's also unclear if Turkey's ongoing match-fixing scandal will affect its Euro 2020 candidacy. Super Lig champs Fenerbahce are sitting out this Champions League season due to allegations that threw the Turkish FA into chaos last year, forced the postponement of this Super Lig season and netted more than 80 footballers, journalists and club officials, including Fenerbahce chairman Aziz Yildirim.

By INSIDER's Matthew Grayson

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