A week before the 2024 European Championship vote, UEFA expressed concern on Friday about Turkey’s human rights record and raised no significant issues with Germany’s proposals in an evaluation of the two bids.
Turkey has taken an increasingly repressive direction under Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidency and European football’s governing body is troubled by the lack of proposals “to ensure the protection of human rights” at the 24-nation flagship tournament.
A crackdown after a failed military coup in 2016 led to mass arrests and purges. Although the two-year-old state of emergency expired in July, new anti-terror laws allow authorities to press ahead with mass purges of public employees.
The verdict from UEFA presents a major obstacle to Turkey’s hopes of hosting its first major football tournament.
“The lack of an action plan in the area of human rights is a matter of concern,” UEFA said.
But the same UEFA executive committee that votes on Thursday on the Euro 2024 host already decided in May to send a showpiece to Turkey. The 2020 Champions League final will be staged in Istanbul at Ataturk Olympic Stadium
Germany has sought to make Turkey’s political issues a factor in the campaign. German federation president Reinhard Grindel criticized Turkey’s authoritarianism after seeing two of his players with Turkish roots — Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan — posing for photos with Erdogan in London in May.
The UEFA evaluation highlights no significant issues with Germany’s bid to host its first major football tournament since the 2006 World Cup.
“The DFB (German federation) bid is of high quality and comfortably meets overall expectations when it comes to political aspects, social responsibility, sustainability and human rights,” UEFA said.
UEFA also said Turkey’s restriction on advertising alcoholic products “might be a potential conflict if a sponsorship agreement is signed with a beer company.” Germany doesn’t have the same prohibition.
Source: Fox Sports