Germany has 18 cities willing to host games for Euro 2024

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Eighteen cities have applied to the German soccer federation to be part of its bid to host the 2024 European Championship.

The cities, including Berlin, Dortmund, Hamburg and Munich, expressed their interest in being among the 10 potential host venues before Friday's deadline.

"The response shows the great enthusiasm for a European Championship in Germany and it underlines that we have a first-class stadium infrastructure for such a tournament," federation president Reinhard Grindel said.

Grindel said Germany can have a "cost-effective and sustainable" tournament as "hardly a hectare would need to be sealed off for construction work."

The federation will work with Transparency International to choose the 10 cities ahead of the UEFA decision in September 2018.

UEFA set a March 3 deadline for federations to express interest, with the candidates to be announced a week later.

The German federation will present the requirements to the potential host cities on April 11, and those still interested must submit their final applications by June 12.

Germany is seen as the favorite to host Euro 2024 after reaching a deal with England to withdraw from competing to host the Euro 2020 semifinals and final. A combined Scandinavian bid has also been suggested.

Updated February 17, 2017

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