Ireland-UK joint bid to host Euro 2028 formally submitted to UEFA

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Ireland-Uk Joint Bid To Host Euro 2028 Formally Submitted To Uefa Ireland-Uk Joint Bid To Host Euro 2028 Formally Submitted To Uefa
The Government has confirmed its support of the FAI's joint bid with the UK's four Football Associations. Photo: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
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Jamie Gardner, PA Chief Sports Reporter

Ireland and the UK have formally submitted an initial bid to co-host Euro 2028 to UEFA.

The five football associations (from the Republic, the North, England, Scotland and Wales) confirmed in a joint statement issued on Wednesday morning that an ‘expression of interest’ (EOI) had been filed, which has the support of the respective governments.

The EOI submission comes on deadline day for interested parties to confirm their interest to UEFA, with The Times reporting earlier this week that the bid was set to be unopposed.

The statement confirming the EOI pointed out the five-nation bid’s capability to host a 32-team finals, should UEFA opt to increase the number of teams from the current 24.

The intention to bid for Euro 2028 was announced on February 7th, after a feasibility study concluded that targeting the continental finals carried greater certainty than a bid for the 2030 World Cup, which had been under consideration.

A joint statement from the five associations read: “With this unique partnership, we are taking the appropriate next steps and our ambition is to stage a successful UEFA Euro which will be a wonderful celebration of football for fans and teams.

“We believe Euro 2028 would be one of the greatest sporting events ever held in the UK and Ireland.

 

“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.

“Over the coming months, we will develop our proposals further, subject to the publication by UEFA of the full technical specification. This includes engaging in discussions with possible host cities and stadia to define the optimum tournament model and conducting a full costs and benefits analysis.

“The UK and Ireland will offer an unrivalled tournament from a technical perspective – with modern, well-connected stadia and excellent infrastructure – that makes our partnership ideal to host Euro 2028.”

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In a separate statement issued on Wednesday morning, Minister for Culture Catherine Martin welcomed the announcement, adding: "The Government have agreed to support the football associations of the UK and Ireland with their submission of an Expression of Interest for UEFA Euro 2028.

"Officials in my department will continue their examination of the costs and benefits of hosting the tournament prior to any final decision to bid.

"Hosting Euro 2028 games in Ireland could bring lots of benefits not least to Ireland’s tourism sector. Hosting the tournament also offers a very considerable opportunity to strengthen East-West and North-South relations in the years ahead."

Chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) Jonathan Hill also described the move was a "significant day for Irish football" adding it "represents a real statement of intent for the development of Irish football as a whole".

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