Turkey has submitted a bid to UEFA to host the 2020 European Championship, the head of the country’s football federation announced Tuesday.
Turkey is also bidding to stage the 2020 Olympics in Istanbul. UEFA President Michel Platini has previously said he would back the country to host Euro 2020 only if it loses the Olympic bid.
The International Olympic Committee will vote on the 2020 Games in September 2013. UEFA said a hosting decision would be made in late 2013 or early 2014.
Two years ago, Turkey was edged out by France for hosting rights for the expanded 24-nation Euro 2016. Officials complained that Platini - who is French and was not allowed to vote - had favored his home country’s winning campaign.
There are concerns that bidding for Euro 2020 could jeopardize Turkey’s chances of winning the Olympic rights. But officials for the Istanbul 2020 Games bid say they are unconcerned about losing government support because of the attempt to stage Euro 2020.
Yildirim Demiroren, head of the Turkish Football Federation, said the government has backed projects to speed up the construction of modern football stadiums in several cities and to improve transportation infrastructure between the cities.
“We will spend every effort to host the European Championship in Turkey,” Demiroren said.
The federation’s bid comes despite Turkish football being affected by a match-fixing scandal involving more than a dozen games last season.
The chairman of defending league champion Fenerbahce is among 93 club officials, players and trainers currently on trial because of the scandal, which resulted in Fenerbahce being barred from the Champions League.
Fenerbahce believes the Turkish federation was pressured by UEFA to deny its entry to Champions League, and is challenging both football organizations at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.