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

Italy lift the Euro 2020 trophy

The 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.

The associations said they felt it “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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