France wins Euro 2016

France has seen off challenges from both Italy and Turkey to win the right to host Euro 2016. The French, who hosted and won the World Cup in 1998 and last hosted the European Championships when they won it in 1984 (thanks largely to Michel Platini), beat Turkey by a single vote after Italy’s ramshackle bid was seen off in the first round of voting.

The tournament will include 24 teams playing over the course of a month and will be played at 12 stadiums, some of which will need to be refurbished: the Stade de France and Parc des Princes in Paris, Lens, Lille, Bordeaux, Nice, Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg, Saint Etienne and Nancy.

‘This is a beautiful day for us,’ said Jean-Pierre Escalettes, president of the French Football Federation. ‘It is a moment of intense emotion to know that in 2016 France will welcome European football and will fulfil its promises.

‘What counts for us is to have the full confidence of Uefa and this trust will not be betrayed. We also understand the frustration of Italy and Turkey - particularly Turkey, who lost by a single vote after bidding for a third time.’

‘It was not an easy situation for me,’ said Uefa president Platini. ‘I am French, my name is Italian and I have many friends in Turkey. But Uefa has proved once again that we have democracy.’

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