April 13 – Turkey is the only rival to the UK and Ireland candidacy to host the 2028 European Championship, UEFA confirmed in announcing the formal bids.
The Turks, who have failed five times to host the Euros, are also in for 2032 and face Italy in another two-horse race.
“In the forthcoming months, the UEFA administration will evaluate each of the bids, with the UEFA Executive Committee to vote on who has won the right to host both editions in October,” UEFA said in a statement.
The joint British and Irish bid is the favourite for 2028 after the countries abandoned plans to run for the 2030 World Cup. In a joint statement, the English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and Irish football associations said if they won the vote, they would stage the most-watched Euros ever.
“High-capacity, world-famous football grounds and state-of-the-art new venues will provide the platform for the biggest and most commercially successful UEFA EURO ever – making us a low risk, high reward host,” the statement said. “Our pioneering five-way partnership will deliver a record-breaking and unforgettable UEFA Euro.”
“It will be the biggest sporting event our islands have ever jointly staged – a passionate and unforgettable celebration, with long-term benefits for our cities and communities as well as all European football.”
They also announced the 10 stadiums that would be used.
Wembley, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Newcastle’s St James’ Park, Villa Park and Everton’s as yet unbuilt new stadium would host matches in England, as would Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Hampden Park in Glasgow, Dublin’s Aviva stadium and Casement Park in Belfast – also yet to be constructed – are the other venues being proposed.
The bid carries the slogan ‘Football for all, football for good, football for the future’, and says more than 80% of ticket-holders would be able to travel to matches by public transport.
“Together we want Euro 2028 to be catalyst for a new and sustainable era for football, from the grassroots to the very top of the game,” the joint statement said.
England and Scotland hosted 12 games during Euro 2020, which took place across Europe in 2021 after a delay caused by the pandemic.
Fan violence marred the Wembley final, won by Italy, but UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has played down fears the disorder would affect England’s chances of hosting future events.
Turkey is hoping for success this time round after losing out to Germany in the bid to host Euro 2024. Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium will host this year’s Champions League final on June 10.
Italy, the reigning European champions, have hosted the Euros twice before, in 1968 and 1980 while Rome’s Stadio Olimpico was also used as a venue at Euro 2020.
Interestingly, UEFA is reported to have made clear that automatic qualification as hosts will not be guaranteed if more than two countries submit a joint bid – and there are five associations in the Britain and Ireland bid. Quite how this will be resolved remains to be seen.
Russia had initially declared an interest last year in hosting one of the two tournaments but UEFA announced last May that it would not consider any bid from the Russian Football Union because of the invasion of Ukraine.
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