23rd February 2017. By Danni Biggs.
The Turkey Football Federation Chief Yildirim Demiroren told reporters at their headquarters “This time it is our right to host the championships.” Brushing the threats and concerns over security and infrastructure Turkey confirms interest to host the 2024 European Championships. On the 15th February the TFF announced their ambitions bid to be the host nation of this much-loved tournament.
The Turkish Football Federation announce being candidates to host the 2024 Euros. After losing out to stage the finals in 2008, 2012 and 2016 as well as disappointingly missing out on hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics to Tokyo, Turkey deserved to be announced as hosts, but is it the right decision?
So, can Turkey host the 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship? When announcing an end to its pursuit of 2020 the TFF said “We believe Turkey is developing our sporting capacity with 13 stadiums to meet the necessary criteria. Turkey also has communication infrastructure, travel and accommodation facilities sufficient to host an entire competition.” However, despite this Turkey will be an outsider by comparison to the three-time European champions Germany, who also announced their interest to host this iconic tournament.
National associations have until 3rd March 2017 to confirm their interests in bidding. The UEFA will then announce the bidders a week later. Bidders will them have to wait patiently until September 2018, which is when the host will be appointed.
Lesson Learnt by their Olympic Bid
After being left utterly disappointed when Istanbul lost out to Tokyo in the bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, Kilic said it had taught them a lot and helped to increase our capability. The Turkey Football Federation now believe that it is their time to host. The nation has worked on their infrastructure, transport and accommodation that let them down in previous years to ensure they meet the criteria to host this world-known tournament.
Turkey has had some bad fortune over recent years. The nation narrowly missed out by just one vote to host the 2016 Euros and were also keen to be the home of the 16th edition due to take place in 2020. But, unfortunate for Turkey UEFA decided to the hold the competition across European Cities, leaving the Turkish authorities angered with the decision.
As well as being in competition with Germany as well as a likely joint bid from Scandinavian nations Turkey could be left in the shadows with concerns over security due to recent terror attacks in 2016. Upon the decision of deciding who is host UEFA have to keep mind the safety of the fans and players, meaning they will have to take into consideration of the unfortunate event that sadly occured last year. This means it will be a huge challenge for Turkey to be appointed hosts of the 17th edition of the Euros.
Concerns are also stringed from Turkey’s transport infrastructure, as to whether it is up hosting a nationwide tournament. Kilic has compared the rapid construction of Istanbul’s third airport that is due to open next year, with repeated delays in opening Berlin Brandenburg airport in Germany and said “I don’t think there will be any problems with transport.”
Analyzing Turkey’s National Team Current Position
Turkey had a remarkable run before the 2016 European championships. The Turks went unbeaten for 18 months until there meeting against England for a pre-tournament friendly ended their fantastic winning streak. Euro 2016 saw Turkey qualify for their first major tournament for 8 years but did however see them suffer back-to-back losses against Croatia and Spain. Despite the Turks winning their final game against Czech Republic by a score-line of 2-0 it was not enough to see them into the knockout phase.
At a current Fifa ranking position of 24, Turkey are aiming towards their first qualification of the World Cup since 2002, where they achieved their best result finishing in third place. Turkey has now played four qualifying matches for the Fifa Russia World Cup 2018 and is sitting fourth in their qualifying group I, after losing just one of their games. Turkey still has three more games yet play until it is determined what teams have qualified for this iconic football tournament.
Turkey is Renowned for their Rivalry
Many years ago the Turkey national team, infamously could not cope with the pressure of away games and never qualified for the big tournaments and the Super Lig teams had history but little else. However, over the last two decades everything has changed.
Nowadays, footballers head over to the Turkish football league as it is expected that an increase from their previous wage will be included. Also now, the country’s leading clubs look ahead to prove themselves in football league that only contain the best teams. The Champions and Europa Leagues consist of the highest quality European clubs, which one of Turkey’s big three has gone on and won.
Domestically, the big three Super Lig clubs continue to dominate, which is where the mass rivalry comes from. The teams Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Beşiktaş are all based in Turkey’s main city Istanbul. Combined they share 51 out of 58 Turkish Football Championships, making them the most domestically honored teams with outstanding rivalry between them. A few other clubs have been crowned champions of the Turkish league, with İstanbul Başakşehir F.K. being a strong contender for the 2016/17 title.
Başakşehir would be found playing in amateur leagues just 26 years ago. Already this season they have had a slight glance at being top of the Super Lig table after going 13 games undefeated and holding defending champions Beşiktaş to a draw. A real miracle could just be waiting round the corner for this Istanbul club.
Could İstanbul Başakşehir go all the way a live up to their fairytale story? Istanbul BB are currently sitting in a comfortable second place on the Turkish Super Lig table, which of course means they are separating the big three teams. With Başakşehir now in the equation, the rivalry, passion and tension is only going to increase and it may just be the start of a fantastic future for this up and coming team.