Ankara: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized the Olympic committee for their decision to award Japan the 2020 Olympics host country title over Turkey, in spite of his country's readiness and ability to host large sporting events.
Speaking at the International Football Summit at Halic Congress Centrum Istanbul Monday, Erdoğan said: "We may not have been able to bring the Olympics to our country yet, but you also know about the tricks [being played against Turkey] here ... I've experienced it myself.
"They did not give us the Olympics even when we had the right [to host the mega event]. They gave the Olympics for the second time to those who hosted it before."
He said Turkey had a proven track record in terms of hosting mega events and preparing the necessary infrastructure for it.
"We have hosted 659 international sports organizations since 2003 and have proved that we have the capability," he said.
Erdoğan also said Turkey grew "three times", especially in the sports field over the last 14 years.
"1,924 new sports facilities have been built in the last 14 years," he said, adding that 321 football fields were being built around the country as well.
In February, the European Youth Olympic Festival was hosted by Turkey in eastern Erzurum province for the first time in over 25 years.
Known as EYOF-2017, the festival was carried out with the participation of some 675 athletes, including 69 Turkish athletes, from 34 countries.
In 2013, Tokyo defeated Istanbul in a second round of voting for the 2020 games by 60 votes to 36, after Madrid was eliminated in the previous round. It was the Turkish city's fifth attempt to host the Summer Olympic Games. The 2016 Summer Games was held in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro city. DS