Turkey, Switzerland, France end Euro 2020 bids

Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:16pm EDT
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By Ken Ferris

LONDON (Reuters) - Turkey, Switzerland and France have pulled out of the race to host matches at Euro 2020, which will be held in 13 venues around the continent, their soccer federations said on Friday.

Istanbul was among the favorites to stage the final and semi-finals but Turkey withdrew because it wanted to host the whole tournament rather than sharing it with other cities and would bid for the Euro 2024 finals instead.

In a radical departure from traditional formats, European soccer's governing body UEFA has decided to spread the 2020 tournament around its member associations to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the European Championship.

Friday was the deadline for countries to hand in their bid dossiers to UEFA, with the venues to be chosen in September.

The Turkish Football Federation said on its website: "We will soon have the 13 stadiums that suit the capacity criteria of the European Football Championship.

"That being the case, Turkey is in a position to host the whole tournament by itself with its communication infrastructure, travelling and accommodation opportunities and above all, passion for football.

"For this reason our board today decided not to bid for the semi-final and final games of Euro 2020."

The Swiss, who had put forward Basel as their proposed venue, co-hosted Euro 2008 with Austria and said they thought this would reduce their chances of being awarded matches.   Continued...