Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul opened two years ago and could figure into Euro 2020 plans. (Getty Images)

Istanbul on Inside Track for 2020

Turkey believes it is at the “top of the list” to host the 2020 European Championship final, after Istanbul lost the 2020 Olympics race.

UEFA president Michel Platini pledged his conditional support in January for Istanbul getting the final and semi-finals hosting package, Emre Alkin, the Turkish Football Federation general secretary said on Wednesday.

“It is all about the promises and Mr. Platini, in a face-to-face conversation, promised us — and I underline that, promised us — that if we don’t get the Olympic Games we will surely have the final package,” Alkin said.

Platini’s France edged Turkey to host Euro 2016.

UEFA Backs World Cup Switch

European football associations have told UEFA president Michel Platini they support changing the dates to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to January.

Speaking to a report by the Associated Press, Estonia Football Association president Aivar Pohlak said there was “clear” support for the switch.

The decision to put the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could have numerous repercussions. (Getty Images)

“As an exception and that is it, as a one-time problem, it can be handled,” said Pohlak.

European Leagues favor a January start to November because of potential Champions League group stage clashes. Many leagues in Europe such as Germany take a midseason break, and northern European leagues run from March to November.

“It seems the 2022 World Cup can’t be played in the months of June and July,” Belgium soccer federation president Francois de Keersmaecker told The AP.

FIFA will discuss the issue at the next Executive Committee meeting October 3-4 in Zurich.

Australia May Seek Compensation

Frank Lowy, Australia’s soccer chief, says his country’s football federation could seek compensation in the event of a winter World Cup in 2022.

Such a switch is under consideration due to host nation Qatar’s brutal summer heat. However, according to a BBC report, Australia invested heavily in a bid under the assumption it would be a summer affair.

“Since December 2010, Australia has been careful not to let its misgivings about the process be interpreted as sour grapes,” said Lowy. “But now, with increasing speculation about a change that will impact on us as one of the bidding nations, and because our competition will be affected, we have made our position public.”

A statement from FFA asked FIFA to consider “just and fair compensation” to countries that “invested many millions, and national prestige, in bidding for a summer event.”

Qatar beat out Australia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States to win the right to host in 2022.

By INSIDER’s Nick Devlin, Ed Hula III, and Aaron Bauer.

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