HomeSportsTurkey set to realize long-term goal with bid to host Euro 2032...

Istanbul:

After four unsuccessful bids in recent days, Turkey is finally set to be awarded the right to host a major international football tournament this week when UEFA decides where Euro 2032 will be held.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long dreamed of hosting one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events.

Now finally they are sure to get a chance, despite the country being stuck in an economic crisis and the annual inflation rate is close to 60 percent.

On Tuesday, UEFA’s executive committee met to announce the hosts for the 2028 and 2032 European Championships.

Turkey withdrew its bid to host in 2028 to focus all its attention on a joint proposal with Italy to organize the tournament four years later.

There is no rival for that bid.

Erdogan has shown little interest in Turkey’s most popular sport – in his younger years he played at a semi-professional level and is an avowed supporter of Istanbul giants Fenerbahce, one of the country’s biggest clubs.

Winning the right to host the biggest sporting event in Europe will be one of the most important moments of his time in power.

This will also be very symbolic from the political point of view.

“In modern times, sport has always been considered a means for Turkey to build its legitimacy and compete on an equal footing with the rest of the Western world,” says Dagan Iraq, a lecturer in media communications at the University of Huddersfield in England.

“Erdogan has not deviated from that historic strategy.”

Erdoğan became Prime Minister in late 2002, at the same time that Turkey’s joint bid with Greece – during a period of improving relations between the two countries – to host Euro 2008 failed.

UEFA awarded that tournament to Austria and Switzerland.

Turkey then went on to host Euro 2012 on its own, but missed out on the Ukraine–Poland joint candidature, while in 2016 it lost to France.

They then missed out on Germany for Euro 2024, after UEFA’s evaluation of the bid highlighted concerns about the country’s “lack of action plan in the field of human rights”.

After four failed attempts, and having joined forces with Italy, the lack of any rival contenders means Turkey is now certain to get its chance.

Human rights concerns remain even after Erdogan was re-elected as president in May – yet he has shown no leniency towards, or announced amnesty for, thousands of jailed political opponents.

Turkey’s Court of Cassation recently upheld the life prison sentence of philanthropist and philanthropist Osman Kavala, accused of financing anti-government protests in 2013.

Kavala will serve his sentence in isolation and has no possibility of early release.

“Unfortunately these actions are weakening Turkey’s chances of joining the EU,” said Nacho Sanchez Amor, the European Parliament’s envoy on Turkey.

Turkey’s previous bids have also been reduced due to questions about stadiums in the country.

However, this is no longer a problem, according to Socrates magazine contributor Bagis Ertan, who teaches sports communication at Kadir Has University in Istanbul.

“If the AKP (the ruling party since 2002) knows how to do one thing, it’s construction,” he says.

“They love it! We have a lot of really nice stadiums now.”

Ertan cites the examples of medium-sized cities such as Trabzon on the Black Sea, Konya and Eskisehir in central Anatolia, and Izmir, the country’s third-largest city on the Aegean Sea coast.

He further added, “Our stadiums are now better equipped than many other countries.”

He believes that Turkey cannot bid to host a global event like the Olympics, “but it is in a position to host the Euros in terms of economic and security, as well as its football culture and the crowds that come to the matches.” Is.”

In June it hosted the UEFA Champions League Final, when Manchester City defeated Inter Milan at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.

“Türkiye is ready now,” Erton insists.

And in terms of integration into Europe, Iraq says, “It is much easier for Erdogan’s Turkey to organize an international football tournament than to respect the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights”.

RELATED ARTICLES
- Advertisment -