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England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland And Republic Of Ireland To Joint Bid For Euro 2028

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England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland And Republic Of Ireland To Joint Bid For Euro 2028

The FAI, Republic of Ireland's governing body, have confirmed that they will launch a bid with England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to co-host Euro 2028.

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There hasn't been an international football tournament held on these shores since England hosted the Euros in 1996, when Terry Venables' side were a penalty shoot-out away from the final.

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Last year group games in Euro 2020 were held in England and Scotland, with the semi-finals and final also at Wembley, whilst Ireland was originally supposed to play host to games as well, before Covid regulations saw them move elsewhere.

Now though the five countries that make up the British Isles are set to come together in a joint bid to host the tournament in six years time.

"Following an extensive feasibility study, which assessed the potential opportunities in international football," a statement by the FAI said.

"The football associations of the Republic of Ireland, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have agreed to focus on a bid to host UEFA EURO 2028, the third largest sports event in the world.

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Fans packed into Wembley during the Euros. Image: Alamy
Fans packed into Wembley during the Euros. Image: Alamy

"The feasibility study included an analysis of the economic impact, the political football landscape and likely costs of hosting major international tournaments.

"On balance, the five associations have decided to focus solely on an official bid to host UEFA EURO 2028, and have agreed not to bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

"Hosting a UEFA EURO offers a similar return on investment, with the European tournament carrying a far lower delivery cost and the potential of the benefits being realised sooner.”

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Scotland fans ahead of their game at Hampden Park against Czech Republic. Image: PA Images
Scotland fans ahead of their game at Hampden Park against Czech Republic. Image: PA Images

The home nations and Ireland were initially expected to compete to host the 2030 World Cup but this decision will see them step aside from that instead.

The Euros in 2028 is set to see an increase from 24 teams to 32, having gone up to 24 in 2016.

Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia have reportedly discussed co-hosting the event, whilst Turkey are also said to be interested in hosting, the date for applications closes on March 23rd.

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"It would be an honour and a privilege to collectively host UEFA EURO 2028 and to welcome all of Europe," the FAI's statement continued.

“It would also be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the true impact of hosting a world-class football tournament by driving positive change and leaving a lasting legacy across our communities.

There was criticism with how the crowds were handled at Wembley last summer. Image: PA Images
There was criticism with how the crowds were handled at Wembley last summer. Image: PA Images

"We believe the Republic of Ireland and the UK can offer UEFA and European football something special in 2028 – a compact and unique five-way hosting collaboration that will provide a great experience for the teams and the fans.

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“We continue to collaborate with our Government Partners of Ireland and the UK about the next steps.”

The crowd trouble at Euro 2020, specifically at the final where unticketed fans forced themselves inside, has seen England pick up a stadium ban, meaning their next UEFA game at Wembley will be behind closed doors.

However, those problems are not thought to have any negative repercussions to the bid for an international tournament.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Euro 2021, Football, England, Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland

Ryan Sidle
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