Euro 2028: UK and Ireland football associations take ‘important’ Uefa bid step

Euro 2028: UK and Ireland football associations take ‘important’ Uefa bid step

by Emily Smith
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Wembley Stadium hosted the final of Euro 2020 in JulyThe UK and Republic of Ireland football associations have submitted a joint expression of interest in staging the European Championships in 2028.

The five associations has previously considered seeking to stage the World Cup in 2030 and conducted a £2.8m feasibility study into a potential bid.

But in February they decided to focus their efforts on Euro 2028.

Russia has declared an interest in staging the tournament despite being banned from international football.

Russian clubs and national teams are currently suspended by Fifa and Uefa – world and European football’s governing bodies, respectively – because of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, pending the outcome of an appeal by the Football Union of Russia to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Despite the ban, the union’s executive committee has backed a bid for the European Championships in 2028 and 2032.

Turkey’s football association announced it has submitted its own expression of interest to Uefa.

Uefa released a statement shortly after the deadline for declarations of interest passed at 17:00 GMT, confirming the bids for 2028 and 2032.

It confirmed interest in 2028 from the UK and Ireland, Russia and Turkey, while Russia, Turkey and Italy have expressed interest in hosting the 2032 tournament.

The UK and Republic of Ireland associations said Euro 2028 “would be one of the greatest sporting events held in the UK and Ireland”.

In a joint statement, the FAs of England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales said submitting an expression of interest to Uefa – European football’s governing body – was “an important step”.

The statement read: “The governments of the UK, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have confirmed their support for the expression of interest submission and, given the Northern Ireland Executive is currently not meeting formally, officials there continue to observe the process closely.

“This unprecedented partnership of five associations offers something special to European football, including the potential for an expanded tournament, and we are passionate about maximising the sustainability and legacy benefits for communities across the UK and Ireland.”

The joint bid team will now wait to receive Uefa’s technical specification for bidding for the tournament and expects to engage in conversations with potential host cities and stadiums.

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee chair Julian Knight had previously encouraged the focus on bidding for Euro 2028 rather than the 2030 World Cup, describing the latter bid as a “giant, expensive vanity project”.

Uefa, which could expand the tournament to 32 teams, is expected to make a formal decision on 7 April.

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