France has been selected to host UEFA EURO 2016, the first UEFA European Football Championship final round to feature 24 teams, after a decision in Geneva.
Article top media content
France has been selected as the host nation of UEFA EURO 2016, the first UEFA European Football Championship final round to feature 24 teams.
The decision was announced by UEFA president Michel Platini at the Espace Hippomène in Geneva, Switzerland.
Italy were eliminated in the first ballot of UEFA Executive Committee members, meaning France and Turkey entered a second ballot where a simple majority was required to earn the right to stage the tournament in six summers' time. France won by a majority of one from the 13 votes cast.
"I want first to thank our friends from Italy and Turkey; I feel for them and the feelings of frustration and sadness after months of work and I wish Italian and Turkish football good luck," said French Football Federation (FFF) president Jean-Pierre Escalettes.
"For us it is a moment of intense emotions, given that in 2016 we will welcome European football to France. We will fulfil our promises and we thank our friends on the Executive Committee at UEFA. They have put their trust in us and that's what counts for us. This is a beautiful day for us."
The FFF bid included 12 stadiums, of which seven would require major renovations and four would be new, in 11 cities: Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nancy, Nice, Paris (Stade de France and Parc des Princes), Saint-Etienne, Strasbourg and Toulouse.
France has previously hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1938 and 1998, winning the latter competition, having also triumphed on home soil at EURO '84. Les Bleus added a second European crown in the Low Countries in 2000, but were beaten in the final of the 2006 World Cup by Italy.