Istanbul confident of chances of hosting the Games

 

Istanbul’s 2020 Olympic bid has no more obstacles in its way after a decision to stage the 2020 European soccer championship across the continent lifted a huge burden, bid leader Hasan Arat said yesterday.

Arat, handing in his city’s official bid book along with bid rivals Tokyo and Madrid to the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, said: “Nothing can really stop us.”

The IOC will select the winner in September.

Istanbul’s bid had been dealt a significant blow last year when Turkey also bid to host Euro 2020 and the IOC said the country could not host both events in the same summer. With European soccer’s governing body Uefa unveiling plans for a continent-wide Euro 2020 in December, Istanbul saw its Olympic chances restored.

“When that question came up we always said that our national priority was Istanbul 2020,” Arat told reporters in Lausanne.

“This (Euro 2020) case is closed for us now. I hope that people now understand more that the priority is the Games.”

The IOC will stage evaluation visits to the three cities before delivering a report to IOC members ahead of the vote on September 7th.

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