France will host the 2016 European Championship after UEFA opted to play it safe on Friday, choosing the French bid over Turkey in a close vote after outsiders Italy had been eliminated in the first round.
France, who staged the tournament in 1960 and 1984 and have also hosted two World Cups, won the vote 7-6 at the expense of Turkey, who had been making their third bid for their first major soccer championship.
"Right now I'm overwhelmed just thinking that France will welcome the Europe of football," French Football Federation President Jean-Pierre Escalettes said at the televised ceremony, FOX News informs.
France has promised to invest some 1.7 billion euros to build four new stadiums in Bordeaux, Lyon, Lille and Nice and renovate eight others before selecting nine venues to host the 51 matches, which are held over a one-month period.
The 2016 tournament will also see the number of teams taking part rise from 16 to 24. Ukraine and Poland are co-hosting the next European soccer championship in 2012, Deutsche Welle reports.