Germany has beaten Turkey for the right to host the UEFA European Champion in 2024, the first major football event to be held in the country since hosting FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011 and the men’s World Cup in 2006.
The announcement was made after European football’s 17-member governing body voted to back the German bid on Thursday.
West Germany hosted the 1988 tournament, but Euro 2024 will be the first time it hosts the competition since the reunification of East and West Germany.
The decision, announced by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, was a bitter disappointment for Turkey, which also failed with bids to host the 2008, 2012, and 2016 tournaments.
“The procedure was transparent, the vote was democratic. Every democratic decision is the right decision,” Ceferin said.
“We have amazing stadiums, fans who love football, first and foremost we have people who love celebrating with other Europeans,” said former Germany captain Philipp Lahm, an ambassador for the German bid.
“We will organise a huge football party in Germany,” he added.
Al Jazeera’s Lee Wellings, speaking from London, said the Germans were the favourites to win going into the vote and the result came as “no surprise”.
“Their infrastructure is in place, largely because of the 2006 World Cup, which was such a success,” he said.
“They have the stadiums there, they have at least 46,000 capacity in all of those stadiums… In Turkey’s bid, a lot of their stadiums were less than 35,000 capacity.”
Racism and human rights
Al Jazeera’s Sinem Koseoglu, reporting from Istanbul, said Turkey had been “very hopeful” about winning but always had doubts whether politics would affect the outcome.
“There was always a question mark about whether Turkey would lose for the fifth time…Turkey believes decisions by European [bodies] are mostly influenced by politics,” she said.
Koseoglu said while the committee evaluating Turkey’s bid has criticised the human rights situation in the country, many Turks were angry that similar criticism was not levelled at Germany for issues such as racism.
Earlier this year, German footballer of Turkish origin, Mesut Ozil, quit the national side, accusing the country’s football federation of institutional racism.
“I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” the Arsenal star wrote.
Germany’s football chiefs denied the accusations.
UEFA relies on the competition to help fund 55 member federations.
Revenue from the 24-team Euro 2016 in France was almost 2bn euros ($2.35bn). UEFA made an 850m euro ($1bn) profit.
The 2020 tournament will be held across Europe, with the Allianz Arena in the German city of Munich hosting a quarter-final game.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies