Soccer-Germany considers bidding for Euro 2020 semis, final

BERLIN, March 15 Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:39am EDT

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BERLIN, March 15 (Reuters) - Germany could bid for the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final if Turkey's Istanbul lands the 2020 Olympics, the country's football association said on Friday.

European soccer's governing body UEFA has said the 2020 tournament will be staged in 13 cities across the continent instead of just one country for financial reasons and to celebrate its 60th anniversary.

It has said that 12 cities would be awarded a package of three group games plus one knockout-stage game, either from the round-of-16 or quarter-finals.

A special 13th package would be awarded, consisting of the two semi-finals and final with UEFA eager to split the costs for the bigger tournament and celebrate its 60th anniversary across Europe.

"It is still open if we will bid for four games until the quarter-finals or if we will bid for that final stage," said DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach, adding he would first await the Sept. 7 vote for the 2020 Summer Olympics host where Istanbul is a candidate. Countries have until Sept. 11 to submit Euro 2020 bids to UEFA.

"What is certain is that if Turkey are not awarded the 2020 Olympics then we would not bid against the Turkish football federation for the final round of Euro 2020."

Turkey were seen as favourites to land the 2020 tournament before UEFA's format change. They are also seen as frontrunners to stage the semi-final matches and the final given that it will no longer be one country hosting the whole tournament.

Istanbul's bid to host the 2020 summer Olympics has complicated matters a bit with the International Olympic Committee not eager to see both major events in one country in the same summer.

The IOC will elect the winning bid for the 2020 Games in its meeting in Buenos Aires in September with Tokyo and Madrid also in the running.

The DFB said it will decide on August 30 which German city will be officially put forward for the Euro with Munich having already launched its candidacy and Berlin's Olympic stadium also a strong contender. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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