UK, Ireland to host Euro 2028 as Turkey withdraws bid
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Published By: Nimot Sulaimon
The joint bid by the United Kingdom and Ireland to host Euro 2028 now stands uncontested following Turkey’s withdrawal from the bidding process.
Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) confirmed this on Wednesday.
In an effort to focus on hosting the European Championship, Britain and Ireland had previously set aside their plans to bid for the 2030 World Cup, making their bid the frontrunner for the 2028 tournament.
The decision on the host countries for both Euro 2028 and Euro 2032 is expected to be announced during a meeting of UEFA’s executive committee scheduled for Tuesday, October 10.
Turkey, which had previously bid unsuccessfully to host every Euro since 2008, initially positioned itself as a candidate for both Euro 2028 and Euro 2032. However, in July, it joined forces with Italy to submit a bid for the 2032 edition, without specifying at the time whether it would withdraw from the running for 2028.
On Wednesday, UEFA officially confirmed that Turkey was directing all its efforts towards the joint bid with Italy.
UEFA stated, “As indicated by the FA of Turkey with its submission of the request for a joint bid, their bid to stage UEFA Euro 2028 is consequently withdrawn.”
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This decision effectively makes the selection of host nations a formality, with the UK and Ireland facing no competition for Euro 2028, and Italy and Turkey uncontested for Euro 2032.
England, which recently hosted the women’s Euro last year, last hosted a men’s major tournament during Euro 96 when it featured just 16 teams. It also hosted the final of the 24-team Euro 2020, which was delayed by a year due to the pandemic, at Wembley. During that tournament, England and Scotland jointly hosted 12 games.
Italy, on the other hand, has not hosted a tournament on its own since the 1990 World Cup. It had previously hosted the final stages of the four-team Euro in 1968 and the eight-team tournament in 1980.
Turkey, which recently hosted the Champions League final in Istanbul in June, has never been awarded a major international competition.
Russia had initially expressed interest in hosting either Euro 2028 or Euro 2032. However, UEFA later clarified that it would not consider any bid from the Russian Football Union after Russian clubs and national teams were suspended from all UEFA competitions due to the war in Ukraine.
The upcoming Euro will take place in Germany next year, running from June 14 to July 14.