UEFA concerned by Turkey's human rights record amid Euro 2024 bid
UEFA expressed concerns about Turkey's approach to guaranteeing human rights in its evaluation of the bid submitted by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to host Euro 2024.
The report, released on Friday, acknowledged that the TFF said it remained committed to guaranteeing personal freedoms in its formal presentation but offered no substantial proof of that responsibility.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has increasingly cracked down on political dissent during his presidency, especially since a failed military coup in July 2016, with military and police personnel, journalists and activists routinely purged from their roles or arrested.
"The bid of the TFF meets the overall political, social responsibility and sustainability criteria, [but] the lack of an action plan in the area of human rights is a matter of concern," UEFA concluded in its report.
UEFA will choose between bids from Turkey and Germany for the right to host Euro 2024, with a vote scheduled for a meeting of the executive committee on Sept. 27 in Nyon, Switzerland.
In the report, it also shared moderate apprehension over Turkey's plans to renovate three of the 10 stadiums that will host games, even though the Ministry of Youth & Sports has guaranteed to subsidise all costs, as well as its public transportation infrastructure, its ability to provide adequate training centres and its restrictions on tobacco, alcoholic products and gambling advertisements.
The competing proposal from the German Football Association (DFB) does not raise any issues regarding political and social matters, venues and facilities or transportation and accommodation.
The DFB, though, has expressed its own concerns that its bid will be affected by a number of recent controversies, including the withdrawal of Mesut Ozil from the national team following the World Cup amid charges of racism against the organisation's leadership and continued disputes with the German Football League and fans over commercialisation.
"That's the reason why we have to get the European Championship -- to show the world in 2024 that this country is different," Germany national team general manager Oliver Bierhoff said earlier this month.