Erdogan a battleground in Germany-Turkey soccer vote

Published 7:05 a.m. ET May 15, 2018 | Updated 12:32 p.m. ET May 15, 2018

LONDON (AP) — Strained diplomatic relations between Germany and Turkey have taken on a sporting dimension as they bid to host soccer’s 2024 European Championship.

Four months before UEFA decides the destination of the tournament, concerns about Turkey’s increasingly repressive direction under Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidency have been raised by the head of Germany’s soccer federation.

Reinhard Grindel criticized Turkey’s authoritarianism after seeing two of his players posing for photos with Erdogan in London. Both Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan play for English clubs and have Turkish roots, and Grindel suspected Erdogan was meddling with “integration efforts” by the German federation, known as the DFB.

When Germany…

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