The UK and Ireland will host Euro 2028, with all five nations hosting matches throughout Europe’s premier international men’s football competition.
Turkey was the only remaining competitor for hosting the competition before it pulled out to focus on a joint bid with Italy for Euro 2032 – which was also approved on Tuesday morning – leaving the path clear for the UK and Ireland.
Bid leaders estimate the 2028 tournament is projected to generate around £2.6bn of economic benefit for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Wembley is set to host the final and potentially both semi-finals, though Anfield and Old Trafford – arguably the most famous stadiums as homes to Liverpool and Manchester United – won’t be included.
The ten stadiums will be:
- Wembley Stadium, London
- Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
- The Etihad Stadium, Manchester
- St James’ Park, Newcastle
- Villa Park, Birmingham
- Everton’s new home at Bramley-Moore Dock, Liverpool
- Casement Park, Belfast
- Aviva Stadium, Dublin
- Hampden Park, Glasgow
- Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Should any of the five nations not qualify for the tournament on merit, European football’s governing body UEFA has reserved two safety-net berths for the host nations.
If more than two of the nations do not qualify, the two with the best record will be given the spots – meaning we won’t necessarily see all five host teams in the tournament.
England, however, have requested to go through qualification, with the Football Association keen to keep the team competitive in the run-up to the finals.
The UK-Ireland bid would have been the overwhelming favourite to host Euro 2028 even if Turkey had remained in the race.
UEFA sources had emphasised the importance of hosting a European Championship in a major market – following on from Euro 2024 in Germany – as essential to boosting finances after COVID.
Issues remain, however, with the redevelopment of 34,000-seater Casement Park – as an agreement is still to be reached on who will fund it.
The plans have been hit with legal challenges and are further complicated by the lack of a functioning Executive at Stormont, the seat of power in Northern Ireland.
Costs have also risen to more than £100m, when the original estimate was £77.5m.
Tuesday’s decision means England will be involved in running a Euros for a third time, after hosting Euro 96 solo and being one of 11 countries involved in staging the continent-wide Euro 2020.
‘Celebrations under way’
The UK-Ireland team welcomed the result and congratulated Italy and Turkey for its successful 2032 bid.
“Across the UK and Ireland, celebrations are under way as players, fans and local communities can look forward to an outstanding festival of summer football at UEFA Euro in 2028,” the five football associations said in a joint statement.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said a “whole new generation” would be inspired by Euro 2028, while Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales, said they’ll deliver “an unforgettable and spectacular” tournament.
Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf echoed their sentiments and said he looking forward to a “welcoming, exciting and safe Euro 2028”.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said she is “thrilled” to host the “biggest sporting event ever jointly hosted in the UK and Ireland”.
“We will put on a brilliant tournament with fans at its heart,” she said. “We will warmly welcome fans from across Europe to our islands’ shores and give people memories that will last a lifetime.”