The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Germany optimistic of hosting 2024 European Championship after striking deal with England
BERLIN - Germany has struck a deal with England that will give the country a good chance to host the 2024 European Championship.
The agreement would see the Germans drop their interest in hosting the Euro 2020 semifinals and final ahead of the vote by UEFA's executive committee on Sept. 19. Wembley Stadium in London and Allianz Arena in Munich had been the contenders to host the final matches at Euro 2020, which is being spread across the continent.
"We've spoken with (England) about it, that they could hold off (applying for) Euro 2024 and support our application," German football federation general secretary Helmut Sandrock told Sport Bild magazine. "In turn, we'd forego the final Euro 2020 games and support England's bid for Euro 2028."
Germany is also bidding for one of the 12 Euro 2020 hosting packages of three group matches in the 24-team tournament, plus a single knockout match from the last 16 or quarterfinals.
"Withdrawing of our application for the three final games of Euro 2020 would only come into question for if we could be certain of getting the 2024 European Championship," Sandrock said.
Sandrock said he and federation president Wolfgang Niersbach had held "many talks with UEFA and other national associations to gauge how much our application for Euro 2024 would be supported."
The tournament has previously been staged in a single country. Germany hosted the European Championship in 1988 and the World Cup in 1974 and 2006. England, which staged the 1966 World Cup, hosted the Euros in 1996.
The English Football Association couldn't be reached for comment on Wednesday, but general secretary Alex Horne said last week that he didn't envisage bidding for prestigious Euro 2020 games being a barrier to its Euro 2028 hopes.
Also, Hamburg and Berlin are bidding to be German candidates for the Olympics in 2024 or 2028. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said Tuesday he didn't see a problem with Germany hosting two major events in one year.
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