"Give us Euro 2020," said Erdogan at the end of his address at the UEFA Congress in Istanbul
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the opening of the annual UEFA Congress meeting, the official gathering of UEFA's 53 member associations, in Istanbul on March 22, 2012. Erdogan on Thursday urged UEFA to award his country the right to host the 2020 European football championships. © Bulent Kilic - AFP
AFP
Last updated: March 22, 2012

Erdogan launches Turkish bid to host Euro 2020

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday urged UEFA to award his country the right to host the 2020 European football championships.

"Give us Euro 2020," said Erdogan at the end of his address before the UEFA Congress here.

Turkey lost the bid to host Euro 2016 which was awarded to France.

And UEFA member countries now have from next Monday until May 15 to officially lodge their bid to host the 2020 edition.

"We're catching up in terms of infrastructure," said Erdogan, who announced the construction of 18 new stadia across the country.

"Turkey has a young population half of whom are aged under 30 years. Turkey has great potential on the economic and sporting fronts," the Prime Minister continued.

"Turkey is a country which adores football, where there are many fans," added Erdogan, a keen footballer in his youth whose parents had not wanted him to pursue his dream of becoming a professional player.

"My father was right and I chose another path, but I learned a lot from football, I learned coordination, solidarity, to share, to pass the ball, to establish eye contact, communicate, and to speak from the heart."

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