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Euro 2028 hosts: UK and Ireland face competition

| 26.03.2022

Russia have confirmed their interest in being the Euro 2028 hosts or staging Euro 2032 despite clubs and national teams from the country being banned from international football over the invasion of Ukraine.

Turkey also entered their candidacy for both tournaments, meaning one way or the other the UK and Ireland will face a contest for the right to be the Euro 2028 hosts.

Here we take a look at the issues surrounding the bids to be selected.

How can Russia even bid?

UEFA and FIFA banned Russian clubs and national teams from their competitions on February 28, but crucially not the Football Union of Russia. For that reason, the bid cannot be rejected at this stage.

However, the union’s status may be reviewed at future meetings of UEFA’s ruling executive committee. The first of those is scheduled for April 7.

Why would Russia want to bid?

Russia had been reported to be interested in a bid for Euro 2028 prior to the invasion of Ukraine.

With UEFA expected to want to increase the men’s Euros from 24 to 32 teams in 2028, Russia have a proven pedigree for hosting a finals of that size having staged the 2018 World Cup.

Moscow, football

What opposition might Russia face?

UEFA is expected to come under political pressure almost immediately. British Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries is working with her counterparts in other countries around the world to form an international coalition to prevent Russia using sport as a means to legitimise Vladimir Putin’s regime in any way.

What about the UK and Ireland bid to be Euro 2028 hosts?

Though the five nations now face opposition, they remain overwhelming favourites for 2028 and submitted their formal expression of interest on Wednesday.

Turkey have tried and failed many times in the past to win the right to stage a major tournament and Russia’s bid could be rejected by UEFA so the UK and Ireland bid represents a safe bet for UEFA.

Despite the chaos surrounding the Euro 2020 final last year the UK, and Wembley, remains a go-to destination for UEFA.

What happens next?

According to documents published by UEFA last October, bidders for Euro 2028 and 2032 will receive the bid requirements on March 30.

Final bid dossier submissions must be handed over to UEFA by April 23 next year, with the decision on hosting to be taken in September 2023.

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Andrew McDermott