Ireland/UK bid for Euro 2028 faces shock challenge as UEFA confirm Russian and Turkish bids

The joint UK/Irish bid to host Euro 2028 now faces competition as Russia, despite being an international pariah banned by UEFA and FIFA, have made an audacious bid to host the finals.

oday at 5pm was the deadline for interested parties to submit an expression of interest in hosting the finals to UEFA, and the governing body confirmed, after the deadline, that the UK/Ireland bid had been submitted for Euro 2028. However, they also revealed that Turkey and Russia have both made bids to host in either 2028 or 2032, with Italy bidding solely for 2032.

“UEFA today confirmed that it has received declarations of interest to host the 2028 and 2032 editions of the UEFA EURO from four potential bidders following the deadline of 23 March,” a UEFA statement said.

“A joint declaration of interest was submitted by the football associations of England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales for UEFA EURO 2028.

“Russia and Turkey declared their interest in hosting either the 2028 or 2032 edition of UEFA’s flagship national team competition, while Italy announced its intention to bid for UEFA EURO 2032. The appointment of host(s) of UEFA EURO 2028 and UEFA EURO 2032 will be made in September 2023.”

It was reported last week that the British/Irish bid would effectively have a solo run with no opposition. Earlier in the process, Italy had withdrawn from the race to host Euro 2028 to focus on a bid for the finals in 2032 while Turkey, disappointed in previous attempts to win hosting rights, were also expected to back off.

A Balkan bid, involving Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia, was mooted but did not enter. The FAI today confirmed that they would be part of the bid involving England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and backers of the bid had hoped for a one-horse race to guarantee success.

But today the Russian FA said they would make a bid. “The executive committee decided that we would apply to host the European Championship 2028 and Euro 2032,” Sergey Anokhin, a senior official with the Russian FA, told Moscow media today.

Russia have been banned from all football activity by UEFA and FIFA as part of the sanctions in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Valeri Karpin’s side kicked out of the playoffs for the World Cup finals in Qatar and their proposed playoff opponents, Poland, given a bye into the playoff final.

Given the level of sanctions imposed on Russia and the ongoing violence in Ukraine, a Russian bid would have no chance of success and their expression of interest today is seen as a political statement by the Kremlin.

Next week, UEFA will inform competing bids of ” bid requirements”. Parties then have to submit a preliminary bid application by October 12th, with the final bid details demanded by UEFA for April 2023. The decision will be made by UEFA’s Executive Committee in September 2023.

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