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Germany beats challenge of Turkey to host 2024 European Championship

Germany will host the 2024 European Championship, UEFA announced in Nyon, Switzerland, on Thursday.

The country was chosen over Turkey, the only other bidder to stage the tournament, in a vote by members of the UEFA executive committee.

Seventeen of the 20 members voted, with German FA (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel and Turkish counterpart Servet Yardimci not allowed to vote and Sweden's Lars-Christer Olsson missing the vote due to health problems.

Speaking from the podium in the aftermath of the decision, Grindel said: "We will do all we can to meet all expectations ... Many thanks for the trust, we will do all we can to justify it."

Former Germany captain Philipp Lahm, who led the country's campaign as the DFB's ambassador, has been named head of the organising committee.

"We have great stadiums," he added. "We have supporters, who love football. We have people in Germany who would love to celebrate a big party with all of Europe."

Germany last staged a major tournament in 2006, when it hosted the World Cup, with the former West Germany having staged the 1988 European Championship.

The tournament will revert to its conventional format of being held in a single host country in 2024, with the 2020 edition set to be played in 12 countries across Europe.

In 2024, 24 teams will play in 10 German cities, with matches taking place in Berlin, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart.

"We saw in 2006 in Germany how people came together and it was a big party. We will do the best to feel the same in six years," Germany coach Joachim Low told reporters, who remained in his job despite his team's unhappy World Cup campaign in Russia.

"It will be a great motivation for our young players because they can see that in six years' time there will be a tournament at home."

The decision was a bitter disappointment for Turkey, who have yet to stage a major football tournament and also failed with bids to host the event in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

"The procedure was transparent, the vote was democratic. Every democratic decision is the right decision," UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said.

"I know that Germany will be fantastic hosts and that we will see a wonderful tournament both on and off the pitch."

The aftermath of the summer's World Cup, Germany's worst since 1938 as the defending champions crashed out in the group stage, had led to tensions within the DFB, but all sides agreed to put differences to one side and focus on winning the right to host the 2024 European Championship.

Following diplomatic tensions over the imprisonment of several German citizens in Turkey, the build-up to Germany's World Cup was overshadowed by a photograph that Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan -- both Germany players with Turkish heritage -- had taken with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in mid-May.

Ozil, who retired from the Germany team in July, citing racism in the DFB, said he had done nothing wrong in meeting Erdogan.

"He did not leave the Germany national team without a reason," the Turkish president told Funke Media. "Everyone else battling those racist attacks and insults would have shown the same reaction.

"Mesut Ozil's statement that he's German when they win and an immigrant when they lose sums up the discrimination of players in Germany fairly well."

Reuters was used in this report.

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