UK-Ireland, Italy-Turkey lands UEFA showpieces


UEFA confirms hosts for EURO 2028 and 2032 Image: Coliseum GSVA

The United Kingdom and Ireland will host the 2028 European Championship, while Italy and Turkey will stage the 2032 edition of the tournament, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced on October 10th.

‘REUTERS’ stated that by accepting a joint Italy-Turkey bid for EURO 2032 recently, and with Turkey withdrawing from the race for EURO 2028, the hosts for both tournaments were already all but assured.

The UEFA European Championship, also known as the EUROS, is an international football competition contested by the men’s national teams of the member-associations of UEFA.

Nyon (Switzerland)-based the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is one of six continental bodies of governance in association football. It governs football, futsal and beach football in Europe and the transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan, as well as some Asian countries such as Israel, Cyprus and Armenia. The UEFA consists of 55 national association members. Because of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the FIFA and UEFA has suspended all Russian national teams and clubs from any FIFA and UEFA competitions.

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. The EURO 2028 will be held across 10 venues in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Turkey’s withdrawal from the 2028 race left England, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales as the sole joint bidders for the showpiece event.

The tournament will be held in June and July 2028. The opening game is expected to take place on June 16th, 2028.

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 the UEFA for the senior men’s national teams of its member-associations. Italy and Turkey will host the tournament, which is scheduled to take place between June and July 2032.

‘REUTERS’ further stated that both sets of bids, however, still needed final approval from the UEFA’s Executive Committee that convened on October 10th.

The UEFA Executive Committee is the supreme executive body of the UEFA. It is made up of 20 members, including the UEFA President.

Observed Debbie Hewitt, Chair of The English Football Association (FA), “Nothing is ever a formality even right until the last minute. We took nothing for granted.”

Hewitt said efforts to organize the tournament had united the five soccer associations – “There’s so many things that you might think might divide, but actually it has really unified. I think that will be something that we all feel very proud of.”

London (UK)-based The Football Association is the governing body of association football in England and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory.

The EURO 2028 will be the largest major sporting event the United Kingdom and Ireland have jointly staged. It will be held in 10 stadia, including the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium in London, the 73,931-capacity Millennium Stadium of Wales in Cardiff (UK), the 51,866-capacity Hampden Park in Glasgow (Scotland, UK), and Dublin (Ireland’s) 51,700-capacity Aviva Stadium.

Five Hosts

Hewitt said it was still unclear how the matches would be divided among the five hosts. Wembley, with a capacity of 90,000, could be expected to host the final and possibly the semi-finals. The venue hosted the semi-finals and final of EURO 2020, which saw Italy beat England on penalties.

Because of the five different hosts, the UEFA will reserve two “safety net” berths for the host teams that do not qualify on merit.

If more than two host nations fail to qualify, only the two with the best record will get a place. This would mean that some of the host nations will not feature in the tournament.

The former Welsh international Gareth Bale, who retired in January, said the tournament would boost soccer in Wales – “I think it’s important especially for Wales to keep on the map, to keep pushing forward, to keep trying and better ourselves.”

The English FA said some three million tickets would be available for the tournament, more than at any previous European Championship. Matches will be held in stadia with an average capacity of 58,000, it added.

England also hosted the EUROS in 1996.

For the 2032 tournament, Italy and Turkey presented 20 stadiums in their bid but that list will be narrowed down to five per country by October 2026, the UEFA said.

Italy, the reigning European champions but who failed to qualify for the last two World Cups, will be hosting EURO matches for the fourth time. They staged the tournaments in 1968 and 1980, and hosted games during EURO 2020 in Rome.

Turkey – who have not played at the World Cup since 2002 and have gone out at the group stage in the last two EUROS though they reached the semi-finals in 2008 – will be hosting EURO matches for the first time.

The European qualifiers are currently underway for EURO 2024, which Germany will host across 10 stadiums.

The 2024 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA EURO 2024 or simply EURO 2024, will be the 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international football championship organized by the UEFA for the men’s national teams of its member-associations.

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