The United Kingdom and Ireland will launch a joint bid to host Euro 2028, while ruling out hosting the World Cup in 2030, their association announced today.
The British Federations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and the Irish Federation issued an official statement with this announcement, which confirms the intention put forward by sports officials in both countries in recent weeks.
The memorandum stated, “Hosting the European Nations Championship provides a return on investments similar to (the World Cup), and the European Championship carries a much lower cost and the possibility of achieving benefits sooner.”
The signatory federations claim to have conducted an “extensive feasibility study” into the opportunities to host a major international competition, which is why they have chosen to look to Euro 2028, “the third largest sporting event in the world.”
This analysis included “the economic impact of the tournament, the political landscape of football and the potential costs” of hosting a major international tournament, which led them to choose the continental competition and rule out the World Championship.
For the federations in both countries, the possibility of cooperation between five federations in the European Cup could offer football “something special in 2028,” which would also mean “a great experience for the teams and fans.”
“It will also be a great opportunity to demonstrate the true impact of hosting a world championship by creating positive change and leaving a lasting legacy in our communities,” the statement read.
The federations indicate that they will continue to cooperate with the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland to prepare the next steps for this nomination.
England was already the main stadium for the last European Cup, held in 2021, hosting several matches in the group stage, round of 16, as well as the semi-finals and final, but its ambition for the 2030 World Cup was damaged by the unfortunate events that occurred on the day of the final at Wembley.
The England vs Italy match preview at Wembley became a huge smash as hundreds of people managed to sneak into the stadium due to poor organization by stadium security.
This resulted in a hefty fine from UEFA as well as a penalty for playing two matches behind closed doors (if the events are not repeated, England will only send one match).
Faced with the risk that the bid to host the World Cup would fail again, as already happened in 2018, when the bid went to Russia, British organizations preferred to focus their efforts on the European Cup.
The deadline for applications ends next March, and hosts will be determined in September 2023.
For the 2030 World Cup, at the moment, a joint Iberian bid (Spain and Portugal) and another from South America (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile) have shown clear interest. (Dr)