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Experience, stability bolster Germany’s Euro 2024 bid

Berlin (AFP) – With a long history of hosting major sporting events, Germany makes a solid case for hosting the Euro 2024 finals, with the winning bid to be announced Thursday.

AFP sports looks at the pros and cons of their bid:

Big events, big stage

Germany has an impressive track record of hosting top sports events.

Usain Bolt broke both the 100m and 200m world records at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium when the capital hosted the 2009 world athletics championships and Germany’s hosting of the 2006 World Cup football was a triumph.

Other recent events successfully hosted include the 2011 women’s World Cup, 2017 women’s handball world cup and last month’s European athletics championships, which Germany’s bid has highlighted.

“All political and football structures are in place in Germany, with a long and stable history of successful organisation,” noted UEFA’s evaluation report.

Modern stadiums, infrastructure

“We are a football nation and our fans always want to show their passion for football,” boasted ex-Germany captain Philipp Lahm, who heads the Germany bid.

The 10 cities each have state-of-the-art stadiums, boasting a total capacity for the 51 matches in Germany of 2,780,000, compared with 2,290,000 for the Turkey bid.

While two of the seven stadiums in the Turkey bid need rebuilding or renovating, there are no such concerns in Germany.

Strong attendance

With an average of more than 40,000 fans per Bundesliga match, Germany has the highest attendance figures in Europe’s top leagues.

Germany 2006 yielded the second highest average attendance figure in World Cup history of 52,491 – second only to USA 1994 where each game was watched by 68,991 on average.

Euros for Euro 2024

For sponsors and UEFA, a tournament in Germany would be financially more profitable than in Turkey.

The 10 German stadiums could in principle accommodate 2.78 million spectators, 290,000 more than in Turkey, earning more from ticket sales.

“For the development of football and UEFA it is very important to make as much money as possible with the tournament, to then distribute the money between all the European federations,” said UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.

Ozil controversy

Mesut Ozil accused the German FA (DFB) of racism when he retired from international football in July, which muddied Germany’s reputation for having a harmonious multi-cultural society.

Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, both born in Germany to Turkish parents, were the targets of xenophobic comments after being photographed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May.

The clumsy way the German FA dealt with the saga, which cast a shadow over Germany’s disastrous World Cup campaign, antagonised the situation as Ozil received precious little public backing.

The fall-out, and political debate which followed, damaged Germany’s reputation of having a tolerant society.

“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil wrote damningly, taking direct aim at DFB president Reinhard Grindel.

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