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The UK And Ireland Set To Host Euro 2028 With Unopposed Bid

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The UK And Ireland Set To Host Euro 2028 With Unopposed Bid

The UK and the Republic of Ireland are set to host Euro 2028, following reports that they will be bidding for the tournament unopposed.

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Only last month, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland's football associations released statements confirming they would be bidding to host the men's Euros in six year's time.

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The decision came along with backing out of the running to host the World Cup two years' later, which will be the 100 anniversary games.

With a joint Spain and Portugal bid being Europe's preferred option for the 2030 tournament, the five countries decided to switch to the Euros.

Now, according to reports, it is likely to be a bid won completely unopposed, with the two other expected bids now dropping out of the race.

Turkey were hoping to host but have been 'discouraged by senior football officials' and have also failed with bids for the 2016 and 2024 competitions.

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The only other bidder was Russia, and they have been banned from international sport, even by FIFA, and even if their invasion of Ukraine stopped and the ban was lifted it's unlikely that the tournament would be held there.

Germany won the Euros last time they were hosted in England, in 1996. Image: PA Images
Germany won the Euros last time they were hosted in England, in 1996. Image: PA Images

That leaves the UK and Ireland bid to get the hosting role unopposed, with UEFA said to be okay with that as it would stop any uncertainty with hosting.

The joint bid is said to give the European governing body stability following the Covid 19 pandemic that caused huge financial problems to many football associations.

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UEFA are said not to hold fears over the trouble that marred the final of Euro 2020 last summer at Wembley, despite the face the final in 2028 would also be at England's national stadium.

Much of the blame of that night's issues has been put on the Met Police, there has also been consideration to it being England's first major final in 55 years and the ending of 18 months of lockdowns in the country.

Whilst the formal bidding process is supposed to go on until September 2023, UEFA could officially award the tournament before then, as long as the UK and Ireland meet the technical requirements.

The Euro 2020 final was marred by clashes between fans and police. Image: PA Images
The Euro 2020 final was marred by clashes between fans and police. Image: PA Images
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Matches would take place in all five countries, though Northern Ireland could have an issue with Windsor Park's 18,500 capacity not meeting the usual 30,000 minimum required for a tournament.

The tournament is likely to increase in size from 24 to 32 teams for 2028 so that could mean more stadiums hosting games as well.

One other issue could be the automatic qualifying spots for hosts, as UEFA may not want to give up five to the UK and Ireland.

No men's tournaments have been exclusively held on the British Isles since Euro 1996, with the Women's hosted in England in 2005 and set to be hosted there this year.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: England, Wales, Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, UEFA

Ryan Sidle
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