The UK and Ireland’s chances of hosting Euro 2028 appear to have improved significantly after UEFA confirmed Turkey and Italy had requested to merge their bids for Euro 2032.
Turkey have not withdrawn their bid to host Euro 2028, so remain a rival to the five-nation bid involving England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Turkey and Italy had been going head to head to host Euro 2032, but are now seeking to bid together.
UEFA said in a statement: “UEFA confirms that it has received today a request from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to merge their individual bids into one joint bid to host UEFA EURO 2032.
“UEFA will now work with FIGC and TFF to ensure that the documentation to be submitted for their joint bid is compliant with the bidding requirements.”
UEFA is expected to make a decision on whether the joint bid is compliant well in advance of October 10, when the UEFA executive committee will decide who will host Euro 2028 and Euro 2032.
For Italy and Turkey, teaming up would reduce UEFA’s risk of committing to a solo host for a 24-team, 51-game tournament nine years in advance.
Italy needs to build and renovate an ageing inventory of stadiums. Construction projects in Italy, such as replacing iconic San Siro stadium in Milan, can be notoriously bureaucratic and slow.
Turkey has the stadiums and infrastructure almost entirely ready after a massive national construction project under two decades of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political leadership.
Co-hosting without a competitive vote would be a pragmatic solution for Turkey after several failed bids over the last 20 years and fresh questions over its hosting ability after Manchester City fans faced logistical challenges at the Champions League final in Istanbul last month.
UEFA said it will now work with the two federations to ensure their joint bid meets all the requirements for the 24-team tournament.
Turkey are also bidding to host the 2028 edition, though that has long been expected to go to the joint bid by the four United Kingdom federations and Ireland.
The UK and Ireland focused on a Euro 2028 bid with UEFA’s approval when they ended a plan to be Europe’s preferred candidate to host the 2030 World Cup against competition from the Spain-Portugal bid. That project now also includes Morocco and Ukraine. The FIFA vote is scheduled for late in 2024.
UEFA should make both Euros hosting awards on October 10 in Nyon. Euro 2024 are being hosted alone by Germany, which easily beat Turkey in a vote in September 2018.
Which host stadiums have been picked for UK & Ireland’s bid?
The UK & Ireland’s final bid to host Euro 2028 has been submitted with the 10 shortlisted host stadiums revealed.
Matches would take place in England at Wembley, Villa Park, Everton Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Etihad Stadium and St James’ Park, in Dublin at the Aviva Stadium, in Belfast at Casement Park, in Glasgow at Hampden Park and Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
Old Trafford, which has the second-highest capacity of all football stadiums in England, had initially been put forward as a potential venue, but Manchester United decided to withdraw from the shortlist following talks with the FA.
Croke Park, the biggest stadium on the island of Ireland with a capacity of 82,300, is not among the proposed host venues despite the GAA stating last year that it was “happy to explore” proposals for its grounds to be used as part of the bid. Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, which plays host to the Republic of Ireland’s home internationals, is on the shortlist.
- Wembley Stadium (London)
- Principality Stadium (Cardiff)
- Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (London)
- Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
- Everton Stadium (Liverpool)
- St James’ Park (Newcastle)
- Villa Park (Birmingham)
- Hampden Park (Glasgow)
- Aviva Stadium (Dublin)
- Casement Park (Belfast)
The UK & Ireland’s final bid to host Euro 2028 is “committed to delivering a record-breaking tournament with more tickets than ever before to grow a more diverse and inclusive game”.
The bid dossier is said to set out “a clear and compelling vision” for the tournament, using the slogan: “Football for all. Football for good. Football for the future.”
It also places sustainability and good governance practice as top priorities, with a proposed match schedule to reduce emissions and an adherence to UEFA’s major event human rights principles to ensure an inclusive, discrimination-free and equal work environment for colleagues and volunteers.