Ireland and UK joint bid to host Euro 2028 officially submitted to UEFA

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Ireland and the United Kingdom have officially submitted an initial offer to co-host Euro 2028 to UEFA.

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

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

The statement confirming the EOI highlighted the ability of the five-nation bid to host a 32-team final, should UEFA decide to increase the number of teams from the current 24.

The intention to bid for Euro 2028 was announced on February 7, after a feasibility study concluded that aiming for continental finals was safer than a bid for the 2030 World Cup, which had been in the pipeline. ‘study.

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 biggest sporting events ever to take place 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 maximizing sustainability and legacy benefits for communities across the UK. and Ireland.

“Over the coming months we will further develop our proposals, subject to UEFA publishing the full technical specification. This includes engaging in discussions with host cities and potential stadiums to define the optimal tournament model. and carrying out a full cost-benefit analysis.

“The UK and Ireland will deliver a technically unrivaled tournament – with modern, well-connected stadiums and excellent infrastructure – which makes our partnership ideal to host Euro 2028.”

In a separate statement on Wednesday morning, Culture Minister Catherine Martin welcomed the announcement, adding: “The government has agreed to support the football associations of the UK and Ireland by submitting an expression of interest for UEFA Euro 2028.

“My department officials will continue their review of the costs and benefits of hosting the tournament before any final bidding decision is made.

“Holding the Euro 2028 matches in Ireland could bring many benefits, especially to the Irish tourism sector. Hosting the tournament also offers a very significant opportunity to strengthen East-West and North-South relations in the years to come.”

Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive Jonathan Hill also described the decision as a “significant day for Irish football”, adding that it “represents a true statement of intent for the development of Irish football. in its entirety”.

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