ZURICH Germany and Turkey are the only bidders for the right to host soccer's 2024 European Championship finals, continental governing body UEFA announced on Wednesday.
The football federations of the two countries were the only ones to submit a declaration of interest before the March 3 deadline, UEFA said in a statement.
"The respective national associations were both present at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon to make their declarations official," UEFA added.
Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland had explored a joint bid but did not to proceed.
The potential hosts will now have to produce a full bid dossier by April next year with UEFA choosing the winner the following September.
Turkey has never hosted a major senior soccer tournament while West Germany hosted the 1974 World Cup and 1988 European Championship and a re-united Germany staged the 2006 World Cup.
Turkey unsuccessfully bid to host Euro 2008 jointly with Greece and the 2012 finals on its own. It had also intended to bid for Euro 2020 before UEFA decided to spread the tournament around 13 cities across Europe.
“It’s clear that there will be two strong bids for UEFA’s showcase national team competition, and it will be a tough decision to make," said UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis. "UEFA is committed to a transparent bidding process."
Germany federation (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel said that "with our vast experience, our current stadium infrastructure and the basic conditions in Germany, we can stage an economic, first-class tournament.”
His opposite number Yildirim Demiroren was hoping it would be fourth time lucky for his country.
"Over the last few years, around 32 new stadiums have been built or are currently being constructed around the country," he said.
"With this level of investment, Turkey is proving that it is one of the world’s leaders in its commitment to football infrastructure.”
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)