UK and Ireland’s bid to host Euro 2028 set to be unopposed | UK News

The UK and Ireland’s joint bid to host Euro 2028 is set to be unopposed.

It comes after UEFA said it received a request from Italy and Turkey to merge their individual bids for Euro 2032 into a combined one, leaving England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as the sole bidders to stage the 2028 tournament.

Italy has only bid for 2032 but Turkey went for both competitions.

A statement by European football’s governing body said: “UEFA will now work with FIGC [the Italian Football Federation] and TFF [the Turkish Football Federation] to ensure that the documentation to be submitted for their joint bid is compliant with the bidding requirements.

“If the joint bid does comply with such requirements, it will be submitted to the UEFA Executive Committee at the meeting scheduled on 10 October, where the appointments for 2028 and 2032 will be made.

“Decisions on venues and match schedules will be made at a later stage.”

Read more:
UK and Ireland 2028 bid stadium list revealed

The Italian federation said the decision to bid jointly with Turkey for 2032 had been reached following a “complex and fruitful consultation process”.

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina said: “We are facing a historic turning point that aims to enhance continental football. Football wants to be an ideal bridge for sharing passions and emotions related to sport.”

The FIGC said if the joint bid was deemed compliant, a decision on host venues would be postponed.

If the 2028 bid by England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is successful, 10 stadia across the five nations would host matches:

Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Etihad Stadium, Everton’s new Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium, Villa Park and St James’ Park in England, a redeveloped Casement Park in Belfast, the Avia Stadium in the Republic of Ireland, Hampden Park in Scotland and the Cardiff National Stadium in Wales.

“Our pioneering five-way partnership will deliver a record-breaking and unforgettable UEFA Euro,” Debbie Hewitt, chair of UK and Ireland bid, said in a statement when the final plan was submitted in April.

The bid has political support across the five nations, with a joint statement on behalf of its leaders in April saying they would be “honoured” to deliver the tournament.

‘It begs the question whether we are ready’

Mark Palios, executive chairman of Tranmere Rovers and former head of the FA, hailed the announcement, describing it as “a fantastic opportunity to showcase this country”.

He told Sky News: “I think they’re talking about £2.6bn coming into these islands as a consequence of this joint bid, and that’s just the financial impact.

“Of course, you’ve got the impact a competition like this will have on the grassroots game… I think this ticks all the boxes.”

However, concerns have been raised about the capacity of police in the UK to handle the event following the chaotic scenes at the final of the Euros at Wembley Stadium in 2021.

A report into the violence found 2,000 ticketless fans stormed the stadium and said there were “a series of ‘near misses’ which could have led to significant injuries or even death”.

Dal Babu

Former chief superintendent in the Metropolitan Police Dal Babu, who said he had been “really scared” when he attended the match as a spectator, said it had been “a complete and utter policing disaster”.

He told Sky News: “I think if you look at what happened, only 18 months ago, it was a disaster. There’s a lot to learn….

“These events that we saw on TV were in London, [which has] probably the best-resourced police force. If you look at the regional areas of the proposed plan, they won’t have as many police officers.

“And, although there will be some support, it begs the question whether we are ready to host such an enormous event.”

Mr Babu added: “We really haven’t got enough police officers to go round to do the day job… An event like this will take large parts of our police service away from normal policing.

“The police have got to step up to the mark and actually deliver better policing than they did on the last occasion.”

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