By Victor Kanayo
UEFA has confirmed that the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland will host the 2028 European Championship.
The joint bid ran unopposed after Turkey withdrew to focus on a bid with Italy for Euro 2032, which was also confirmed at a meeting in Switzerland.
The UK and Ireland focused on Euro 2028, with UEFA’s approval, after they ended a plan to be Europe’s preferred candidate for the 2030 World Cup.
London’s Wembley Stadium and Glasgow’s Hampden Park hosted games at Euro 2020.
Already, the Wales Football Federation is advocating for the opening match to be played at their own part of UK.
The Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales have never hosted a major football tournament.
Matches at Euro 2028 are set to be held at 10 different grounds, including Wembley, Hampden Park, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium and Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. Belfast’s Casement Park and Everton’s Bramley-Moore Dock stadium, the former is unbuilt while the latter is still under construction, were also included in the bid.
England were one of the 11 countries to host Euro 2020 along with Scotland, as well as being sole hosts of the 1966 World Cup and Euro ’96.
England also hosted the record-breaking Women’s European Championship in 2022.
Stamping Euro 2032 Host
While Italy had only bid for the 2032 tournament, Turkey had initially bid to host both Euro 2028 and 2032.
Turkey withdrew from the running to host Euro 2028 last week after their bid with Italy for 2032 was approved by European football’s governing body.
They have 20 potential host stadiums, of which 10 will be chosen, five per country, by October 2026.
Turkey hosted June’s Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium, but a major international tournament has never been held in the country.
European champions Italy hosted the Euros in 1968 and 1980, while Rome’s Stadio Olimpico was also used as a venue at Euro 2020.
Germany will host Euro 2024 with the most recent championship being played in 2021 instead of 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.