The government will today decide whether to formally support the FAI’s involvement in a bid to host the European Football Championships in 2028.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin and Minister of State Jack Chambers will ask the government to approve issuing a letter of support to the FAI for its bid alongside Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland.
The five governing bodies decided last month that a bid for the Euros was more feasible than for the 2030 World Cup. Expressions of interest should be forwarded to UEFA, Europe’s sporting governing body, d here on Wednesday.
Sources said Ms Martin will tell the Cabinet that government support for a bid would likely pave the way for Ireland to host the tournament. UEFA has issued a call for bids for the 2028 and 2032 tournaments and the Italian Football Federation has said it will only bid for 2032.
No other bids have been announced, meaning it’s more likely than not that the joint bid from the UK and Ireland will be the only bid for EURO 2028.
UEFA terminated the Russian bid in response to its invasion of Ukraine, while Turkey dropped out.
It is not yet clear how many matches Ireland will host or whether the matches will be played outside of Dublin, but ministers were told last month that between Ireland and Northern Ireland a quarter of matches could be play on the island.
The Cabinet will be told that the tournament would expect to inject “hundreds of millions of euros” in additional expenditure here, depending on the number of matches. UEFA has yet to announce whether the tournament will be 24 or 32 teams. UEFA will soon publish a Bid Document which will outline the details of the tournament, including its size.
It is estimated that half of the spectators would come from outside the UK and Ireland, meaning around 147,000 non-UK and Irish fans traveling here for the tournament.
There are no staging or bidding costs for this competition and the majority of costs would be incurred when the event itself takes place in 2028, including security and policing, stadium upgrades and public transport.
The Cabinet will also hear proposals that would allow technology universities to access state borrowing to build student accommodation.
The proposals will be presented as part of the Higher Education Authority Bill by Higher Education Minister Simon Harris.
Until now, Universities of Technology have been unable to access state funding to build purpose-built student accommodation, but the new legislation will ensure that the Housing Finance Agency can lend to Universities of Technology.
The bill also provides for the creation of the Office of Apprenticeship.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien will also provide a briefing on the water sector transformation talks. Two days of discussions will take place at the Workplace Relations Committee around the plan which would see 3,200 local authority water workers transferred to work directly for Irish Water.
The Government’s Water Sector Transformation Policy Paper, released last February, requires stakeholders to prepare for the integration of water services into Irish Water’s organizational structure, although that the unions resisted this initiative.
Talks this week will focus on human resources and staffing issues.