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Turkey Has A Choice – Olympics Or Euros


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I'm quite certain you're underselling the Euros by saying it's a a "second tier event of little interest outside its immediate locale with little in the way of memorable long-term glamour legacy left behind". It's not global like the Olympics, but after the World Cup it is the biggest tournament in the World's biggest sport and I'm sure it generates interest in South America and Africa as well as obviously Europe (where more often than not it generates more interest than the Olympics in the same summer). And of course, that statement also ignores jus how football-mad Turkey is as a country and indeed the fact that a Euros would be a certainty whilst an Olympics woould certainly not be, The legacy argument is an odd one, I'm not quite sure how you'd measure that. If a dozen cities across the country get new stadiums, new roads, new transport links etc. as is happening in Poland and Ukraine currently I'm not sure that should be sniffed at just because it's not an 'Olympic legacy'.

The rest of your post I agree wtith, The lingering uncertainty is good for neither bid and the comparisons with Chicago and Munich apt. The trouble here is the Turkish government, They need to make clear which bid they're backing and tell either the Turkish NOC or their FA that this is not their time. They are the ones with the choice to make and who need to make a statement rather than pretending they haven't got into this mess.

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As football-mad as Turkey is, the Euro won't give them the same global attention that an Olympics or a World Cup would, and for that reason alone I'd bet the Turkish government would rather support the Olympics if forced to choose. Global attention is always on the mind of new frontier hosts.

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I'm quite certain you're underselling the Euros by saying it's a a "second tier event of little interest outside its immediate locale with little in the way of memorable long-term glamour legacy left behind". It's not global like the Olympics, but after the World Cup it is the biggest tournament in the World's biggest sport and I'm sure it generates interest in South America and Africa as well as obviously Europe (where more often than not it generates more interest than the Olympics in the same summer). And of course, that statement also ignores jus how football-mad Turkey is as a country and indeed the fact that a Euros would be a certainty whilst an Olympics woould certainly not be, The legacy argument is an odd one, I'm not quite sure how you'd measure that. If a dozen cities across the country get new stadiums, new roads, new transport links etc. as is happening in Poland and Ukraine currently I'm not sure that should be sniffed at just because it's not an 'Olympic legacy'.

The rest of your post I agree with, The lingering uncertainty is good for neither bid and the comparisons with Chicago and Munich apt. The trouble here is the Turkish government, They need to make clear which bid they're backing and tell either the Turkish NOC or their FA that this is not their time. They are the ones with the choice to make and who need to make a statement rather than pretending they haven't got into this mess.

Critique accepted! I'll plead guilty to hyperbole. Of course, as a football event, the Euros are second only to the World Cup, and because of Europe's depth in the game, it's almost a de-facto WC in itself. I apologise if my flippancy offended European footie fans.

But still, unless you are a football fan (and I certainly confess the game only arouses my slight interest once every four years) it's really an event that means jack-all to the majority in the likes of USA, Oz etc. I'm sure Americans in general are more interested in the Super Bowl or World Series, or Aussies in the AFL, NRL and Super 14 finals than the Euro tournament. And I would still say that as a general “big” event, an Olympics is far more prestigious and leaves more of an ongoing intangible and emotional legacy for a host than a Euro. Maybe the UK is different, but in Oz, the likes of Melbourne 56 and Sydney 2000 have become part of our social history and national fabric in a way no IRB or Cricket WC could ever be. I may be wrong, but I'd hazard the guess that the emotional legacy of 2012 will linger far longer and brighter for Britain than the warm fuzzy memories of being Euro host in 1996 ever will, if it's fondly recalled much at all.

It was an interesting point you raised though Rob about legacy. I certainly agree there could well be a strong argument that a tournament like Euro may leave behind a more physically tangible, more country-wide “legacy” than an Olympics, especially for aspirational countries. The Olympics legacy is probably more intangible, and confined more to a single city. But it is these intangibles that to me provide more of an ongoing social history legacy than other sports tournaments. To me it's a no-brainer (of course filtered through my bias and passion towards the Olympics, I admit) that if I was a bidding city forced to choose between the two, the Olympics, even if it was a gamble against a certainty, would win hands down. And forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought that's exactly what the Turks' officially stated position was – the Olympics is the priority and if they win them, they'd drop the Euro bid. I don't see where this sentiment comes from that people here seem to feel they “must” drop the Olympic bid and settle for a guaranteed Euro (or are indeed, almost seeming outraged that they are persevering with the Oly bid). And I don't necessarily feel outrage at them wishing to go for both or having a fall-back plan – they've been trying for ages to land a big one and can probably feel, rightly or wrongly, a bit disappointed and aggrieved they have been passed over so many times to date.

I'm not saying Istanbul will win, or are even favourites (I lean to Tokyo as being the strongest and most likely in the field so far), but a lot of the dismissal of it reminds me a lot of common attitudes towards Rio in the early stags of its bid – it had very few believers here until close to the end. And I think they've probably mishandled the dual bids issue - rather than saying Euro was their “back-up” or “consolation” plan, I think it would have been better for them to tough it out, say they're still determined to go for both and would only abandon the Euro bid if they were absolutely, definitely told they had to. And I still think that if they settle this one way or the other decisively and swiftly, it will be like many a bidding city fleeting one-day wonder kerfuffle - seems huge at the time, but forgotten by the time the business end of the campaign draws near.

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I think it's quite fair to say that the European Championship is a second tier competition behind the Olympics and World Cup even if it may logistically and physically soon become almost as big as the latter. After all the Euros is a much younger than those two mammoths and didn't become a widely recognized event until the 80's so it doesn't have the same pedigree, there's no comparison. Like the great Gerd Müller said in a short documentary I saw recently, the European Championship is very nice but the World Cup is the World Cup.

I don't think the Euros has left a deep legacy even in countries like Portugal or Switzerland though it might very well be the biggest event those countries can ever stage. I fear that UEFA might have shot themselves in the foot with the enlargement of the competition as it may mean that they have watered the event with the addition of eight more relatively mediocre teams making it less competitive. And in small Europe it's not like the World Cup where the teams of different continents at least bring some exotic flavour and cultural peculiarity. Add to that the fact that with 24 teams the format of the tournament will be quite awkward. Also it's a very small pool of countries that can host an event like that alone and as these may be countries that are willing to organize or have organized the World Cup or Summer Olympics then the Euros would be even less special for them like in the case of France or Germany. Even a co-hosting will be more problematic than previously.

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Tend to agree reindeer. The Euros biggest selling point is its quality. The Euros in the last decade have been much more entertaining than the World Cups for the most part and the standard of football that much higher. I do wonder if adding 8 teams a few of which will just be happy to be there won't change this,

The argument about the prestige of the Euros in this thread though must be taken in context. What we were arguing when it looked like Turkey would be the only bidder was "is the certainty of a Euros better than the hypothetical chance of an Olympics?" Nobody argues the Euros are on the same level as the World Cup or Olympics in terms of prestige, but I have been arguing (though circumstances are now different) that Turkey should not turn down a certain Euro win in favour of a hypothetical chance at the Games.

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but realistically if they ever bid again, they are likely to come up against a tougher field.

Sooner or later though the Olympics are going to have to go to the African continent. Unless a bid from Morocco comes, South Africa is the only country that can make a serious bid. They have Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg and have already proven to host a major international sporting event successfully. Casablanca, Morocco is the only other city on the African continent that could make a serious bid. If it wasn't for Egypt's political situation, Cairo would also have been a legit contender.

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Sooner or later though the Olympics are going to have to go to the African continent. Unless a bid from Morocco comes, South Africa is the only country that can make a serious bid. They have Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg and have already proven to host a major international sporting event successfully. Casablanca, Morocco is the only other city on the African continent that could make a serious bid. If it wasn't for Egypt's political situation, Cairo would also have been a legit contender.

How does this post relate to the conversation in this thread or the thread topic?

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How does this post relate to the conversation in this thread or the thread topic?

It doesn't, so I will get back on the thread. My fault.

Anyway, I do think it'll be Tokyo that wins in 2020, with Istanbul second. Who else is bidding for Euro 2020 anyways?

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