France see off Turkey to host Euro 2016

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The Independent Football

France will host Euro 2016 after finishing ahead of close rivals Turkey and rank outsiders Italy in a Uefa vote yesterday. Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, appeared at the ceremony to see his country – who have also hosted two World Cups – awarded the tournament for the third time.

Sarkozy said that France wanted to host the event because of, rather than in spite of, the worldwide economic problems. "When I spoke to the French Football Federation, we asked ourselves whether we wanted to be candidates in the middle of a crisis," he told the ceremony. "But sport is an answer to the crisis. It is because we are in a crisis that we need sport. Nothing is more powerful than sport and, within sport, nothing is more powerful than football."

Turkey were bidding to host their first major football tournament, while Italy's chances had been written off after a critical review of their bid following Uefa's inspection visits.

Problems and delays in Poland and Ukraine, who will jointly host Euro 2012, may have played a part in persuading Uefa's executive committee to avoid choosing Turkey, an untried country. The Turkish government had promised to invest €1bn (£849m) in public money, in stadiums for the event. It would also have needed to spend an estimated €20bn on national transport infrastructure, including high-speed trains.

Meanwhile, Fifa announced yesterday that it will not carry out any further investigations into the Lord Triesman scandal. Fifa's ethics committee looked into comments made by Triesman – and secretly recorded – alleging that Spain could drop its 2018 World Cup bid if rival bidder Russia helped bribe referees at this summer's World Cup. However, the investigation found no evidence to support those claims, and the ethics committee will take no action against England's 2018 bid either.

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