After the withdrawal of Russia and Turkey, Euro 2028 will take place in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Euro 2028 will be held in the UK and Ireland, with joint hosts receiving the tournament without having to compete with other bids.

Turkey is set to withdraw its bid after losing two recent bids to host the Euros in 2016 and 2024, and it doesn’t want to lose again, while Russia’s planned bid is banned due to the country’s suspension from international sport .

About Euro 2028

UEFA would be open to unopposed competition as it would provide certainty at a difficult time when the country is embroiled in conflict in Eastern Europe and all of its 55 national associations are struggling financially following massive losses during the pandemic.

The formal bidding process was expected to last until September 2023, however, if only one bid was received, the procedure would be cut short. If the efforts of the UK and Ireland meet the technical requirements of the host, which is considered a formality, UEFA will declare the hosts much earlier.

The five football associations – England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – only confirmed their willingness to bid last month after ruling out a more ambitious bid for the 2030 World Cup.

They appear to be the only suitors ahead of the March 23 deadline to file an intention to bid, after the Turkish FA told UEFA they would only compete for the tournament if unopposed, and the Russia was excluded after the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin. .

UEFA and United Kingdom

In informal negotiations last year, UEFA strongly backed a bid from the UK and Ireland as they are seen as risk-free hosts who could stage a financially successful event in front of adoring fans in stadiums sold out.

Euro 2024 will be held in Germany, but UEFA leaders have expressed a strong desire for the next competition to be held in another big country where huge wins can be guaranteed after the European competition organizer lost almost £700million last year due to Covid.

The crime that marred last summer’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley was not held against the FA’s involvement in the bid, with UEFA viewing it as a one-time event triggered by the first big appearance England’s final in 55 years and a massive release of frustration following the emergence of lockdown – much of the blame lies with the Metropolitan Police for their poor security activity.

Other matches

With the exception of the final, every game played in England last year was considered a success. The FA have also been thanked by UEFA for stepping in at short notice to host additional matches at Wembley and for pressuring the government to exempt visiting dignitaries from Covid travel restrictions.

By developing a feasibility assessment for the 2030 World Cup bid, the FA was able to lay much of the foundation for the tournament, and many of the proposals contained in this document can be transferred to the Euro 2028 proposal. Euro 2028, UEFA is likely to expand the competition from 24 to 32 teams, which will require the use of a minimum of 12 host venues.

Major problem to solve

The main issue to be resolved is how to ensure matches can take place in Northern Ireland, as Windsor Park in Belfast, with a capacity of just 18,500, does not meet UEFA’s tournament requirement according to which all sites have a minimum capacity of 30,000 places.

A new stadium in Northern Ireland is under consideration, but it is expected that the expansion of Windsor Park to 25,000 seats will be enough to satisfy UEFA, especially given the inescapable political dimension of staging a cross-border event on the island of Ireland.

Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, Cardiff Principality and Glasgow’s Hampden Park will all be used, with Edinburgh’s Murrayfield and Dublin’s Croke Park all being considered.

The final will almost certainly take place at Wembley Stadium, but competition for other games in England, especially in London, will be high. The Tottenham Hotspur stadium is almost certain to be included, so Arsenal’s Emirates or West Ham’s London stadium may be overlooked.

Organizers will aim for a geographical spread across the country, with options including Villa Park and the King Power Stadium in the Midlands, Old Trafford and the Etihad in Manchester, Anfield and Everton’s proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock on Merseyside, St James’ Park in Newcastle and Elland Road in Leeds.

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Sharon P. Juarez