UK and Ireland Euro 2028 bid set for official approval
The UK and Ireland’s bid to host Euro 2028 is set to be officially approved later today.
Turkey’s withdrawal to focus on a joint bid with Italy to host Euro 2032 leaves the five-nation bid unopposed to host the tournament in five years’ time, with former Wales forward Gareth Bale adding a sprinkling of stardust to the presentation that will be made to UEFA’s executive committee alongside six youth ambassadors.
It emerged on Monday that England had requested to go through qualification for Euro 2028.
UEFA has reserved two ‘safety net’ host-nation berths should any of the five UK and Ireland bidders not qualify on merit, but the Football Association is understood to have already told UEFA that England are keen to go through qualification.
The FA is keen to keep the team competitive on the run-up to the finals, with Germany having struggled in friendly action in the build-up to Euro 2024. There are also concerns over the level of opposition they would be able to secure if they were limited to friendlies.
If more than two of the five hosts do not make it, only the two with the best record will secure host places. So there are no guarantees all five will be involved in the finals.
Ten stadia were included in the UK-Ireland’s bid submission in April. Six of the venues are in England, with one each from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The six in England are Wembley, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Etihad Stadium, St James’ Park, Villa Park and Everton’s new home at Bramley-Moore Dock.
A redeveloped Casement Park in Belfast, the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Hampden Park in Glasgow and the Principality Stadium in Cardiff are the other stadia included in the submission.
Even with Turkey in the running, the five-nation bid was the overwhelming favourite to be selected.
Senior UEFA sources have indicated the importance of another Euro in a major football market, following on from next year’s tournament in Germany, as European football’s governing body seeks to further replenish its reserves after the financial shock of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The five nations released a joint statement last week following Turkey’s withdrawal, stating they had a “compelling” and “ground-breaking” proposal for UEFA to consider, which would deliver “lasting legacies” across the whole of Ireland and the UK.
Bid leaders estimate that the 2028 tournament is projected to generate around three billion euros (£2.6 billion) of economic benefit for the five host nations.
Published: by Radio NewsHub