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Istanbul the favorite to host Euro 2020 semifinals and final

Photo: OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images

Istanbul's Ataturk Stadium was part of the city's bid to host the 2020 Olympic games.

LONDON (AP) - A European football official says Istanbul is the front-runner to host the 2020 European Championship semifinals and final.

Thirty-two countries - more than half of UEFA's 54-country membership - have expressed an interest in staging matches at the one-off pan-European event.

UEFA will choose 13 host cities next September, but only one bidder will be awarded the three showpiece matches at the conclusion.

England is one of the bidders, but English Football Association General Secretary Alex Horne says there is a "sympathy for Turkey'' after Istanbul's sole Euro 2020 bid collapsed because it was also bidding for the 2020 Olympic bid

Horne says "we get the politics around Istanbul having not got the Olympics ... I would say Istanbul would be the front-runners to host the semifinals and the final.''

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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