Uefa may opt for Turkey as host nation

Uefa decide on Friday the host nation for the 2016 European Championship with a clear choice between the tried and tested in Italy or France against the apparently more risky option of Turkey.

The smart money looked to be on the latter two following the lack-lustre campaign of world champions Italy which has left many of the soccer-mad country not even aware of their bid.
Many of the 16-man executive committee which will make the decision would surely love to hand Turkey their first taste of hosting a major international tournament but will be given pause for thought by the example of 2012 hosts Poland and Ukraine.
Even as Uefa meet in a Geneva hotel, cash-strapped Ukraine have still not convinced European football’s governing body that it will have the stadiums or infrastructure ready to hold the sport’s second biggest event in two years’ time.
“The voices I have been hearing here suggest it’ll be down to a straight choice between the more conservative option in France and, shall we say, a more interesting bid in Turkey,” said a highly placed Uefa source who asked not to be named.
“Having said that, they will think hard before awarding it to Turkey given what’s gone on for the 2012 Championship. Poland and Ukraine offered the most innovative bid then.
“It is fair to say, though, that Turkey does not have the money troubles that Ukraine has had, for example.”
Uefa has taken the rare step ahead of the vote of being fairly critical of the Italian bid in a report on the merits of the three bids.
This said that Italian organisers had overestimated ticket revenues, criticised ticket prices as being too high, expressed concern over the stadium projects and said transportation plans had been poorly presented.
Not that the rival campaigns were without concerns for Uefa. The report focused on France’s reputation for strikes and Turkey’s need to complete ambitious transport improvements were also featured.
— Reuters

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