France to host UEFA EURO 2016
© AFP

France were today named by UEFA as the hosts of the 2016 UEFA European Championship.

The vote by UEFA's executive committee saw France win the UEFA EURO 2016 contest ahead of Turkey and Italy. It will be the first time that 24 countries will contest the tournament, up from 16 in 2012, and will see a major tournament return to France after the FIFA World Cup™ in 1998.

France beat Turkey by just a single vote after Italy were eliminated in the first round of voting. Jean-Pierre Escalettes, president of the French Football Federation, said: "This is a beautiful day for us. It is a moment of intense emotion to know that in 2016 France will welcome European football and will fulfil its promises.

"What counts for us is to have the full confidence of UEFA and this trust will not be betrayed. We also understand the frustration of Italy and Turkey - particularly Turkey, who lost by a single vote after bidding for a third time."

France last hosted the European Championship in 1984 when they won the tournament by a side captained by current UEFA president Michel Platini.