Germany to host Euros 2024
Berlin’s Olympic Stadium will be the stage for the final of Euro 2024 as Germany won the right to host the 24-team tournament. UEFA’s executive committee favoured Germany over Turkey with the vote being 12 to 4. The decision has led to claims of racism and Islamophobia in Turkey.
Germany have been chosen to host Euro 2024. The UEFA president announced that the executives took a vote that favoured the bid of the 2004 European Champions. This will be the first major international tournament staged there since they held the 2006 World Cup.
German Football Association (DFB) President Reinhard Grindel welcomed the decision and stated that the nation was pleased to be given the responsibility. Grindel also said he is confident that Germany will deliver a successful event. They have a well-established domestic league with everything in place to host a successful event, from infrastructure to stadiums and hotels.
Ex-German captain, Philip Lahm, head of the organising committee, expressed his desire to hold a huge football festival and was looking forward to the chance to express their values of hospitality. The tournament that brings together 24 countries from Europe to compete for the title is usually a great avenue for the host nation to showcase their rich culture and traditions.
The tournament will be hosted in 10 cities, including at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion, Berlin’s Olympiastadion and also in Gelsenkirchen, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Leipzig, and Frankfurt.
The 2024 Euros return to the normal setup of the tournament being held by a single nation, with the 2020 edition set to take place in 12 cities across the continent, with the final held at Wembley.
The fact that Germany has won the right to host the event will be music to the ears of supporters of Die Mannschaft, who were disappointed by Germany’s performance at the 2018 World Cup tournament. Despite being one of the pre-tournament favourites, they were knocked out at the group stage and didn’t even make it to the round of 16.
Turkey upset after not winning the bid
News of Germany’s successful bid has caused outrage within the mainstream press in Turkey, with some reporters alleging racism and Islamophobia was behind Germany behind chosen ahead of Turkey.
Whilst not repeating these allegations, Turkish Sports Minister, Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu, said it was UEFA who had missed an opportunity for diversity and it was a shame because a win in the vote would have seen Turkey being the host of the first European football championship in a Muslim country. He also stated that officials had become “hostages of their prejudices” and had “practised discrimination.”
Not everyone in Turkey agrees with the Sports Minister though. Sports journalist Volkan Agir was dismissive about the discrimination claims and said Germany won because they had the better bid.
It is the infrastructure that is believed to have been a deciding factor in UEFA choosing Germany. Turkey would need to spend a lot of money upgrading airports, railways, roads and stadiums, whereas this is all of a high standard in Germany already. It is also suspected that Turkey’s human-rights record was flagged up by a UEFA evaluation report, as well as the lack of hotels.
The issue of advertising alcohol was also a stumbling block. The report stated that, “the restriction on alcoholic products might be a potential conflict if a sponsorship agreement is signed with a beer company”. Turkey also bans online services such as PayPal, Booking.com and Wikipedia which would be problematic for UEFA.