By Andrew Warshaw
August 10 – The pinnacle of Turkey’s bid for the 2024 European Championship, Servet Yardimci, believes the latest racism row involving Mezut Ozil may work in Turkey’s favour once they tackle the may of Germany subsequent month in a two-horse race to land the event.
Ozil’s shock resolution to retire from worldwide soccer after claiming he was frolicked to dry by the German FA and topic to unfair discrimination over his assembly with the Turkish president in Could sparked worldwide headlines.
Ozil, who has Turkish ancestry, stop the German workforce on the age of 29 after revealing that he and his household had acquired hate mail, threatening telephone calls and on-line abuse sparked by his Turkish roots and particularly being photographed with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
In his retirement assertion, he heaped criticism on the federation, lamenting what he described as an absence of assist and getting used as scapegoat for Germany’s shock early elimination from the World Cup in Russia.
The German FA has responded by completely rejecting “the notion that the DFB is associated with racism”.
However the Turkish FA have already condemned Ozil’s remedy and Yardimci is of the identical view.
“It has become an international story and is very unfortunate,” mentioned Yardimci. “I hope this works in our favour because he didn’t deserve all this. These guys in the public eye should be helped. In Turkey, we welcome any player regardless of religion or roots.”
Having failed with three earlier bids for the Euros and a marketing campaign to host the 2020 Olympics, Yardimci insisted, in an interview with Insideworldfootball six weeks earlier than the vote on September 27, that Turkey’s message of opening new frontiers and creating new markets for UEFA can be too “compelling” to disregard.
“We keep saying it because this is our strongest point. It is taking Uefa to areas it has never been before. We need to explore new areas. It is our time. Germany has already staged two World Cups, one Euro and is staging group matches in 2020.”
The extremely approachable Yardimci rejects comparisons with Morocco who, after 4 defeats of their very own, disseminated the identical form of arguments for staging the 2026 World Cup by way of it being their time. Consequence? They had been crushed by the north American alliance of the united States, Canada and Mexico on the vote in June.
“There is no comparison between us and Morocco,” counters Yardimci. “Turkey already has the infrastructure in place, we have stadia that are already in use and we have a strong league. There were question marks before the last World Cup about Russia but look what a fantastic job they did.”
Having turned down the prospect to host the semi-finals and finals on the pan-European 2020 finals to focus on 2024, Turkey consider the vast majority of UEFA’s government committee members can be sympathetic to their trigger.
Yardimci rejects the notion that UEFA will comply with the cash path and act in an identical technique to FIFA by way of voting for the candidate that may assure essentially the most income. Or that there can be any suggestion of behind-the-scenes soiled methods within the build-up to the poll, a criticism often lodged by Morocco in the course of the 2026 marketing campaign.
“UEFA is run very professionally and transparently under Aleksander Ceferin. There is no way that money will talk in this vote. As for any behind the scenes negative behaviour, I’m confident we will not experience anything like this or that Aleksander will influence the voting members in any way.”
In contrast to World Cup internet hosting votes, which are actually open to each FIFA member affiliation following the latest widespread reform course of, Euro hosts are nonetheless decided by UEFA’s decision-making government committee – of which Yardimci, the Turkish FA vice-president, is a member.
“Would I prefer the vote to be open to all UEFA countries? That’s a tricky question. What I will say is that Germany is a powerful opponent with a proven track record.”
“But I know we have the infrastructure, the location, the accessibility. Okay Germany has those as well but we have more. Turkish airlines flies to more countries than any other airline in the world.”
Having misplaced out by a single vote to France for Euro 2016, the Turks wouldn’t be in any respect stunned if the identical margin of victory and defeat occurs once more. However this time, they hope, of their favour.
“It’s going to be tight, very tight,” concedes Yardimci. “Maybe it could come down to one or two votes, just like for 2016. But I have no fear.”
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