UK and Ireland to host Euro 2028 as Italy, Turkey awarded Euro 2032

Former Wales international Gareth Bale with UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin after the United Kingdom and Ireland were confirmed as Euro 2028 hosts (Fabrice COFFRINI)

The United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland will co-host Euro 2028, while Italy and Turkey will be joint hosts of the 2032 tournament, UEFA announced on Tuesday.

Both bids ran unopposed but still needed official approval from European football’s governing body, which they received at a meeting in Switzerland.

Turkey last week withdrew from the bidding process for Euro 2028, clearing the path for Britain and Ireland, who shelved plans to bid to host the 2030 World Cup to focus on staging the European Championship.

“The UK and Ireland thanks UEFA for its confidence to award UEFA EURO 2028 to the five Association partnership, and congratulates Italy and Turkey on their appointment for UEFA EURO 2032,” read a joint statement from the five football associations.

FIFA last week announced that Morocco, Portugal and Spain will stage the 2030 World Cup but games will also be played in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay as the footballing showpiece celebrates its centenary.

Saudi Arabia subsequently revealed it plans to bid to host the 2034 World Cup.

– Finally for Turkey –

Turkey, which has bid unsuccessfully to stage every European Championship going back to 2008, was initially a candidate for both Euro 2028 and 2032.

However, in July it agreed to join Italy in a bid for the 2032 edition, without saying at the time if it would pull out of the running for 2028.

England, which hosted the women’s Euro last year, last organised a major men’s tournament in 1996, when the European Championship involved just 16 teams.

“I grew up with Euro 96 being one of the most amazing memories of my childhood. And we have a chance to do that all over again for lots more people, just like we did last year with the Lionesses,” said UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he visited England’s training base on Tuesday.

“We’re going to welcome millions of people to the country, and it’s going to inspire a whole new generation.”

Between them, England and Scotland hosted 12 games during Euro 2020 that was held in various locations across the continent with both semi-finals and final taking place at Wembley.

Six of the proposed venues for the 2028 tournament are in England, with two stadiums in London and others in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Birmingham.

Belfast, Dublin, Glasgow and Cardiff are also in line for matches.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on X, formerly Twitter, that he was “over the moon that Ireland and the UK will co-host Euro 2028”.

“It will be the biggest event ever hosted by our two islands working together.”

– Italy to combine with Turkey –

Italy hosted matches in Rome at Euro 2020 but has not hosted a tournament on its own since the 1990 World Cup.

It hosted the final stages of the four-team Euro in 1968 and the eight-team tournament in 1980.

Turkey, which hosted this year’s Champions League final in Istanbul in June, has never been awarded a major international competition.

But after four failed attempts, and having joined forces with Italy, the lack of any rival contenders means Turkey will now get its chance.

That is despite human rights concerns still lingering following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election in May — he has not shown any clemency towards, or announced an amnesty for, tens of thousands of political opponents who have been imprisoned.

“The heart of football will beat in Turkey in 2032!” said Turkish Sports Minister Osman Askin Bak on social media in response to the UEFA announcement.

“We are happy to host #EURO2032 with the friendly country Italy. It is an honour to be rewarded for the steps we have taken in the 100th anniversary of our beautiful country, which we have woven together with investments into sport.”

The Turkish Football Federation promised to offer spectators “the ultimate European Championship experience”.

Russia initially declared an interest in hosting either the 2028 or 2032 Euro but UEFA later said it would not consider any bid from the Russian Football Union.

That was after Russian clubs and national teams were suspended from all UEFA competitions due to the war in Ukraine.

The next Euro will be played in Germany next year, from June 14 to July 14.



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