Olympic Vote Could Open Door for Istanbul Euro 2020 Final
By John Bagratuni
Berlin (dpa) - Istanbul may have failed to land the 2020 Olympics, but Saturday’s defeat against Tokyo also makes the Turkish city big favourite to get football’s Euro 2020 semi-finals and final.
Turkey narrowly lost against France for Euro 2016 and were tipped to get Euro 2020 before Michel Platini, head of the ruling body UEFA, came up with the idea to stage that tournament as a pan-European event in 13 countries.
Istanbul is to compensated under the new format with getting the semi-finals/final package, and the bid deadline was deliberately set for September 11 in order to await the result of the Olympic election. Staging Olympics and Euro matches within a few weeks in the same city was always ruled out.
The Euro 2020 host cities will be chosen by UEFA in September 2014. However, Turkey may not bid for the 2020 package but rather aim to get the full 2024 edition which like previous events will be held in one or two countries.
Germany could be pondering a similar move although it selected Munich as bid city for Euro 2020 games. The 2020 Olympics vote has a stronger impact on Germany on the Winter Olympics front, though, as the choice of Tokyo could raise Munich’s chances to get the 2022 Winter Games.
Munich, host of the 1972 Summer Games, lost out for 2018 against South Korea’s Pyeongchang and is pondering a new attempt, pending upcoming referendums in the city and region. “The decision of the IOC to give the 2020 Games to Asia would give a Munich’s bid for the 2022 Olympics and Paralympics a great chance of success,” Munich mayor Christian Ude said. Ude said Munich is refining its concept from the previous bid and aims to set new legacy standards.
However, German Olympic supremo Thomas Bach said “the decision has no impact on the winter cycle.” Bach is an IOC vice-president and seen as frontrunner when the new IOC president is elected Tuesday from six candidates. Bids must be submitted to the IOC by November and the 2022 host city is elected in 2015.
While the 2018 and 2020 Games are now in Asia, that doesn’t automatically mean that a European city is the top contender for 2022. That even more as under Olympic geopolitics European cities will almost certainly be bidding for the 2024 Summer edition, as 2016 is in Rio de Janeiro and 2020 now in Tokyo.