By Oisín Brennan
The Republic of Ireland and the UK are now in prime position to host the Euro 2028 soccer tournament.
This comes as a result of Turkey’s recent withdrawal from the bidding process to host the tournament.
Turkey are seeking to satisfy their desire of being the host nation of the tournament along with Italy for the 2032 competition.
The Republic of Ireland along with England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have made a joint bid to host the finals and will present their bidding plans to Uefa at a meeting that will take place in Nyon on October 10th.
“These are exciting times, and we have a compelling Euro 2028 proposal for Uefa,” the Football Association of Ireland have said.
UK and Ireland Host Stadiums:
Aviva Stadium ( Dublin )
Casement Park ( Belfast )
Wembley Stadium (London)
Principality Stadium ( Cardiff)
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ( London)
Etihad Stadium ( Manchester )
Everton Stadium ( Liverpool )
St James Park ( Newcastle )
Villa Park ( Birmingham)
Hampden Park ( Glasgow )
Aviva Stadium Dublin
Uefa have stated that a maximum of two host nations will automatically qualify for the tournament with the other host nations aiming to achieve qualification through the group stage tournaments.
Despite the Republic of Ireland presumably being one of the host nations of the tournament, this does not necessarily guarantee automatic qualification for the finals.
However, if the host nation sides competing in the group stage qualification format fail to qualify, two out of the three best performing home nation sides may get a spot.
Uefa are said to be ‘uncomfortable’ with the idea of teams qualifying for the tournament who have failed to do so through the group stage qualifying method.
Stadiums not included in the bid:
It can be noted that stadiums such as Old Trafford, Croke Park and Anfield are not included in the Ireland and UK’s joint bidding plans to host the tournament and are seen as surplus to requirements.
The newly renovated Casement Park in Belfast features on the list along with the Everton Stadium, new home of Everton FC based in Liverpool.
The new Casement Park will feature a bowl like structure and will be able to host up to 35,000 spectators. It is hoped the stadium will be open in 2026.
Old Trafford Stadium
Despite strong hopes of Ireland participating in the Euro 2028 competition, focus will again turn to Stephen Kenny’s side upcoming international window. A series of fixtures against minnows Gibraltar and a stern Greek outfit lay ahead for the boys in green.