FAI confirms bid to host Euro 2028 alongside UK

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

The five associations confirmed in a joint statement issued on Wednesday morning that an “Expression of Interest” (EOI) had been submitted, which has the support of the governments of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Scotland and the Country of Wales.

The EOI submission comes on the day of the deadline for interested parties to confirm their interest in UEFA, with The Irish Times reported earlier this week that the offer of Ireland and the United Kingdom should 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.

Details of which stadiums will be used in Ireland have yet to be confirmed, but Aviva Stadium would meet the requirements while Croke Park would need some work as well as GAA approval to allow its use.

The offer was backed by the Irish government with a statement on Wednesday morning confirming that a review of the estimated costs and benefits of the offer has been carried out.

“The government recognizes the magnitude of the opportunities presented by co-hosting Euro 2028 and, in line with our principled support, we will continue to work with the FAI, partner governments, FAs and other stakeholders on the detailed analysis of the feasibility, costs and benefits of the tournament, after the provision of technical information on the bid by UEFA and before a formal bid.

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 next few months we will further develop our proposals, subject to UEFA publishing the full technical specification. This includes engaging in discussions with potential host cities and stadiums to define the optimal tournament model and conducting a comprehensive 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 statement released by the FAI, chief executive Jonathan Hill said he believed hosting the tournament could be a catalyst for the growth of the game in the country.

“We will now work with UEFA, the government and all of our stakeholder partners to put forward a bid that really makes sense for Ireland and for Irish football,” he said.

“The sporting and economic benefits of hosting such a tournament would, we believe, be of major importance at all levels of our game and for many years to come. I look forward to informing our board Board and our football community on the next steps in this process in the weeks and months to come.

“If successful, I would see this as a catalyst for real growth of the game through to the tournament and beyond, generating new funds which can help to invest more in all aspects of Irish football, whether in facilities or training, and helping us achieve the ambition stated in our FAI Strategy 2022-2025 to grow the game at all levels.

Questions have been raised over whether bidding for a major tournament is the best course of action for the indebted FAI at present and on Tuesday Ireland manager Stephen Kenny gave his backing to the bid. while reiterating the need to invest money in national football infrastructure.

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