Every measure taken for Turkey’s Euro 2024 bid, football federation official says
- DAILY SABAH, ISTANBUL
- Aug 31, 2018
Every necessary measure to ensure a safe and sound Euro 2024 has been taken by Turkey in its bid to host the tournament, Turkish Football Federation Vice President Servet Yardımcı said Thursday.
Speaking during a CNN International interview, Yardımcı said that the Turkish government is doing a good job in fighting terror and ensuring security for prospective audiences.
"The Turkish government is doing a great, professional job in fighting terrorism," he said.
"We are taking the security issue seriously and trying to ensure a safe and sound tournament," the vice president added.
Touching upon what Turkish-origin footballer Mesut Özil has gone through in Germany because of his ethnicity, he said that the star's meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was, in reality, no big deal as the head of state is a "big football fan" who regularly meets with footballers.
Turkey is ready to host the European Football Championships in 2024 as preparations continue at full speed, while its sole competitor Germany is in disarray following the racism scandal that has undermined its ability as a host.
In the wake of the scandal surrounding German players of non-German or mixed backgrounds, Özil, a German football star of Turkish origin, announced his decision to retire from the German international football squad in July, citing "racism and disrespect."
The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) previously announced that it would provide numerous advantages to visitors of the tournament, including various public transports, easy access to accommodations for all budgets and alternative recreational opportunities. Also, all ticket holders will be able to travel for free on match days.
For transportation, the host cities will be connected through a high-speed train network by 2023, when the country is set to reach an annual passenger capacity of 1 billion with investments worth 24 billion euros.
Currently, the high-speed train system is active in the route through Istanbul, Kocaeli, Eskişehir, Ankara and Konya, all host cities. The other host cities, including Bursa, Antalya, Gaziantep and Trabzon, will also be incorporated into the high-speed train network by 2023.
The country also aims to have 60 operational international airports throughout the country by 2024, with a combined annual passenger capacity of 350 million and 20 billion euros in investment. Construction of the world's largest airport in Istanbul is also underway. Once completed it will become a significant hub for the entire region.