World Cup star will take on key role if Germany win bid to host Euro 2024

AFP - [email protected]
World Cup star will take on key role if Germany win bid to host Euro 2024
DFB President Reinhard Grindel and Secretary General Friedrich Curtius present the jersey to the new DFB Honorary Leader Philipp Lahm at an event held in Hesse in December 2017. Photo: DPA

Retired German footballer Philipp Lahm will be the head of the organizing committee if Germany wins the bid to host Euro 2024, it was confirmed on Thursday.


Germany and Turkey are the only two candidates bidding to host the European championships in six years time, with a decision by European football's governing body UEFA set to be made on September 27.

Lahm, 34, stepped down from international duty after leading Germany to the 2014 World Cup title and retired from all football in May 2017 after winning a joint record eighth Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich.

"From the beginning of my work as an ambassador for the European Championship 2024, it was my desire to take responsibility in the long term," said Lahm, who comes from Munich, in a statement.

"The new role as head of the tournament offers me a very interesting opportunity to do just that. Together with the bidding team, I will do everything in the coming weeks to bring Euro 2024 to Germany."

Tensions are already high between the German Football Association (DFB) and their Turkish counterparts in the countdown to the decision.

The DFB and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) got into a war of words after Mesut Özil, who has Turkish roots but was born in Germany, resigned from German duty last month and accused DFB president Reinhard Grindel of racism.

As The Local reported, Özil announced he was quitting the German national team in July, lambasting "racism" over criticism for the team's World Cup performance.

Özil had been under fire since posing for a controversial photograph with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May, which sparked questions about his loyalty to Germany's squad ahead of the tournament in Russia.

He said in a statement: "It is with a heavy heart and after much consideration that because of recent events, I will no longer be playing for Germany at international level whilst I have this feeling of racism and disrespect."

Özil, 29, was warmly applauded for his actions by key figures in Turkey.


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