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France wins right to host Euro 2016

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France to host Euro 2016
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • France wins right to host the 2016 European Football Championship
  • France beats off the challenge of Italy and Turkey
  • Decision made by 13-strong UEFA executive committee
  • France previously hosted the 1960 and 1984 European Championships

(CNN) -- France has been chosen to host the 2016 European Football Championship.

France beat off the challenge of Italy and Turkey to win the decision, which was made by the 13 members of the UEFA executive committee.

UEFA president Michel Platini unveiled the name of France in a ceremony at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday.

It will be the third time the country has hosted the tournament, having previously staged it in 1960 and 1984.

Video: UEFA leader: Decision close to my heart

France won the competition in 1984, captained by Platini, and again in 2000.

"This is a beautiful day for us," French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes told the official UEFA Web site.

France also hosted the World Cup in 1938 and 1998.

The bid was strongly supported by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who spoke in the final round of bid presentations to the UEFA officials earlier in the day.

This is a beautiful day for us
--FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes
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Turkish president Abdullah Gul was in Geneva to back his country's bid, while Italy were represented by sports minister Rocco Crimi.

The final decision was tight, with UEFA revealing that France beaten Turkey seven votes to six in the second round of voting after Italy had been eliminated.

France will follow Ukraine and Poland, the co-hosts of Euro 2012, which is the last championship under the current format of 16 nations.

The 2016 event will comprise 24 teams in the finals and will be extended by a further week to accommodate the extra matches.

The French bid included 12 stadiums, four of which will be new, in 11 cities.

The Stade de France where France beat Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final, Paris Saint Germain's Parc des Princes, Lens, Lille, Bordeaux, Nice, Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg, Saint Etienne and Nancy are the proposed venues.