DUBROVNIK, Croatia (AP) — Turkey believes it is "top of the list" to host the 2020 European Championship final, after Istanbul lost the 2020 Olympics race.
UEFA President Michel Platini pledged his conditional support in January for Istanbul getting the elite final and semifinals hosting package, Emre Alkin, the Turlish Football Federation general secretary, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
"It is all about the promises and Mr. Platini in a face-to-face conversation promised us — and I underline that, promised us — that if we don't get the Olympic Games we will surely have the final package," Alkin said.
Platini's long-standing support for Turkey, since his native France edged it to host Euro 2016, was initially for staging the 24-team tournament alone in 2020.
That project was complicated by Turkey's government committing to bid for the Olympics scheduled just weeks after UEFA's marquee tournament. The IOC chose Tokyo this month.
"As far as I am concerned, yes," Platini said in January of backing Istanbul in a Euro 2020 vote involving his 17-member UEFA executive committee. "For the other members, I don't know."