Russia, Turkey in the running for Euro 2028



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UK and Ireland to host 2028 also Russia and Turkey Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

Russia and Turkey have joined the UK and Ireland in declaring an interest to host Euro 2028.

Russia and Turkey have also declared an interest in hosting Euro 2032, with Italy rivaling them for that edition of the European Championships.

The ‘CNBC’ stated that it had seemed a joint bid from the United Kingdom and Ireland would be the sole application for the tournament but on March 23rd, Russia – despite the current suspension of their clubs and national teams by FIFA and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) over the country’s invasion of Ukraine – and Turkey surprisingly put their name forward to host the competition.

The 2028 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2028 or simply Euro 2028, will be the 18th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international football championship organized by UEFA for the senior men’s national teams of its member-associations.

The 2032 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2032 or simply Euro 2032, will be the 19th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international football championship organized by UEFA for the senior men’s national teams of its member-associations.

The Euro 2028 and Euro 2032 competitions will be awarded to host countries in September 2023.

The ‘CNBC’ further stated that Russia successfully hosted the 2018 World Cup but has been exiled from the international sports community since its invasion of Ukraine a month ago, with UEFA having already stripped St Petersburg of hosting rights for this season’s men’s Champions League final.

They have been able to put their name forward for these competitions because the Russian Football Union was not suspended when FIFA and UEFA banned the club and national teams.

But it has been reported that the UEFA Executive Committee is ready to meet very quickly to make that decision to suspend the Russian Football Union.
 

Russia fate hangs in balance

The ‘TASS’ stated that Russia intends to submit bids for hosting the UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations) Euro Cups in 2028 and 2032, Rustem Saimanov, a member of the Russian Football Union’s (RFU) Executive Board told newsmen on March 23rd – “The RFU plans submitting bids to host the UEFA Euro Cup Championships in 2028 and 2032 and this is not a joke. Life goes on, we are ready and open, and we must not be closed for UEFA and FIFA. We have already hosted numerous high-level tournaments. We will be bidding and I presume that there is an ample amount of time, the situation will change and we will consider all details thoroughly.”

Added Saimanov, “I cannot say that it may happen in 2028, but highly likely in 2032. We have already asked to provide us with relevant documents to study all requirements and will be waiting for them now.”

The ‘TASS’ further stated that Saimanov also said that the next session of the RFU Executive Board was set for May, however, the sports official failed to come up with the exact date – “We haven’t yet decided with the date of the [RFU] Executive Board’s meeting. Talks were about holding it in May. We did not speak about a possible general meeting of the Russian Premier League, but we agreed to meet as much as possible, even via a videoconference mode, because numerous questions remain to be settled.”

Leonid Fedun, the owner of Russia’s Spartak Moscow football club, told newsmen that the RFU’s membership with FIFA and UEFA might be banned in the future – “A final decision on this issue is still pending and we must wait until what the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rules in May.”

The Press service of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) announced on February 28th that the Russian national team and all professional clubs representing the country were barred from taking part in FIFA and UEFA tournaments.

On February 28th, the FIFA Press office announced, “These decisions were adopted today by the Bureau of the FIFA Council and the Executive Committee of UEFA, respectively, the highest decision-making bodies of both institutions on such urgent matters.”

The Press service added that the suspension is linked to the current situation in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24th that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass Republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine in order to protect people “who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years”.
 

UEFA statement

The UEFA confirmed on March 23rd 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 March 23rd.

The ‘UEFA’ stated that 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.

The ‘UEFA’ further stated that 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 Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the administrative body for football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe, as well as Armenia, Israel and the Asian parts of some transcontinental countries. It is one of six continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members.
 

In the fray…

Earlier, ‘The Guardian’ had stated that the four UK nations and the Republic of Ireland are likely to be confirmed as hosts of Euro 2028 in a fortnight after no other countries bid to stage the tournament.

Barring a late unexpected entry, the UK-Ireland bid will be the only one on the table. This means the process of confirming the hosts can be expedited, with a meeting of UEFA’s Executive Committee on April 7th providing the opportunity to rubber-stamp the decision.

With Wembley able to host the final, and other matches to be held in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, and elsewhere in England, the tournament offers UEFA the closest thing to a guarantee of sold-out stadiums and the chance to recoup money lost to the pandemic.

‘The Guardian’ further stated that a decision to determine the number of nations competing in 2028, with an increase from 24 countries to 32 deemed likely, will be made by UEFA before the end of the year.

The five nations prioritized a bid for Euro 2028 after deciding to drop plans to stage the World Cup in 2030. The UK Government had expressed a strong desire to host the World Cup but a feasibility study conducted by the English FA found “many areas of uncertainty” with the proposal.

The bid has not been damaged by the disorder that marred last July’s Euro 2020 final at the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium in London (UK) when fans ran amok. The five nations would not automatically qualify for the tournament because UEFA grants that privilege only when a maximum of two countries are chosen as hosts.

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