FRANCE TO HOST EURO 2016

UEFA has named France as the hosts of the 2016 European Championship.

France picked up the most votes by UEFA's executive committee to host the prestigious tournament, ahead of Italy and narrowly beating Turkey.

EURO 2016 will be the first time in history to feature 24 countries, as an additional eight countries have been invited to compete for the illustrious trophy.

It will be the first time France has hosted a major tournament since the FIFA World Cup in 1998.

France beat Turkey by just a single vote after Italy were eliminated in the first round of voting.

President of the French Football Federation, Jean-Pierre Escalettes, said: "This is a beautiful day for us. 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."

France will hope they can repeat the success the last time they hosted the European Championship, when they won the tournament in 1984, by a side captained by current UEFA president Michel Platini.

They are expected to renovate and increase the capacity of eight existing venues across the country and will also build four new stadiums to replace existing grounds to accommodate the extra eight teams.

Posted on 29/05/2010