France bags EURO 2016

Sport Business News

France will host the 2016 European Championships after edging out Turkey by a single vote in the final round of a UEFA Executive Committee ballot on Friday 28 May 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Italy, which surprisingly lost out in the bidding tender for Euro 2012 to a joint–bid from Ukraine and Poland, suffered more misery by being eliminated in the first round of voting. Euro 2016 will be the first edition of the tournament to feature 24 teams, up from 16 at the 2012 competition. France staged the 1998 FIFA World Cup as well as the European Championships in 1960 and 1984, but the result will come as a bitter blow to Turkey, which was attempting to bring the event to the country for the first time ever after missing out with bids for Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. Jean–Pierre Escalettes, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), said: "This is a beautiful day for us. It is a moment of intense emotion to know that in 2016 France will welcome European football and will fulfil its promises. What counts for us is to have the full confidence of UEFA and this trust will not be betrayed. We also understand the frustration of Italy and Turkey – particularly Turkey, who lost by a single vote after bidding for a third time. "The FFF bid included 12 stadia, of which seven would require major renovations and four would be new in the cities of Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Nancy, Nice, Marseille, Paris (Stade de France and Parc des Princes), Saint–Etienne, Strasbourg and Toulouse. France has won the last two major football tournaments to be played on home soil, with current UEFA president Michel Platini leading the team to glory at the Euros in 1984 and Zinedine Zidane – an ambassador of the Euro 2016 bid – spearheading France's triumph at the 1998 World Cup. Platini admitted the contest had put him in a difficult situation – he is French, but of Italian descent and enjoyed his best playing years at Juventus. Platini told a news conference in Geneva: " The position of the president of UEFA being French is complex and let me say we have had three exceptional bids. It was a very narrow decision – the work done by all three federations was outstanding, and I would like to congratulate the French. It has been a complicated situation from the outset and I believe there is a sigh of relief from French football, and they can now upgrade all their stadia to make them up to the same standard as other countries in Europe. "Platini added: "It was not an easy situation for me – I am French, my name is Italian and I have many friends in Turkey. It was the same for Senes Erzik, the [Turkish] first vice–president of UEFA. But UEFA has proved once again that we have democracy. " In the first ballot, the 13 members of the UEFA Executive Committee were asked to list the bidders by order of preference, with first choice receiving five points, second place securing two points and third place receiving one point. A simple majority in the second ballot was required, with one vote for each Committee member. France finished top of both ballots, with 43 points against Turkey (38) and Italy (23) in the first round, and then with seven votes as opposed to six for Turkey in the final round. About The Sport Briefing This story has been reproduced with the kind permission of The Sport Briefing. The Sport Briefing is published by PA Sport and can be found at: www. thesportbriefing. comSubscribers to Major Events International can take advantage ofexcellent discounted rates for The Sport Briefing. Sign up now to receive a 20% discount on your annual licence for The Sport Briefing. Special rates are also available for company–wide subscriptions. Subscribers receive a daily digest or up to 30 stories from across every sector of the global sports industry, access to the 24/7 www. thesportbriefing. com website and a hard copy of the quarterly magazine. For more information, email info@thesportbriefing. com or call +(0) 44 207 963 7888.

Additional information