UK and Ireland to Co-Host Euro 2028, Bringing Major Football Tournament Back to British Isles
The United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland have won the bid to co-host the 2028 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as Euro 2028. The joint bid was approved unanimously by UEFA during a meeting in Switzerland on April 7, 2022.
This will mark the first time that the prestigious quadrennial European national team competition will be held in the UK and Ireland. The UK last hosted the tournament in 1996 while this will be the first time matches are held in the Republic of Ireland.
Venues Across Five Nations to Host Matches
The 2028 Euros will feature matches held in stadiums across England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Some of the prominent venues set to host games include London’s iconic Wembley Stadium, Glasgow’s Hampden Park, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium and Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.
The bid also included the yet-to-be constructed Casement Park in Belfast and Everton’s proposed new Bramley-Moore Dock stadium in Liverpool on the roster of host stadiums. The organizers are confident that both venues will be completed in time for the tournament. Additionally, you can also read about- FIFA announces 2030 World Cup hosts: Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina
Over 3 Million Tickets to Be Made Available
With the Euros coming back to the British Isles after over three decades, demand for tickets is expected to be extremely high. According to estimates by the English FA, over 3 million tickets will be made available for the 2028 tournament – the highest ever for the European Championships.
In addition to the matches themselves, the FA also anticipates that an estimated 2.5 million fans will attend UEFA-organized fringe festivals and events across the UK and Ireland.
Transport and Sustainability Top Priorities for Organizers
The organizers have emphasized that sustainability and efficient transport will be key focus areas in hosting the tournament. It is expected that over 80% of match-going spectators will be able to travel to stadiums via public transportation.
The match schedule will also be designed to minimize travel distances and carbon emissions. Measures around inclusion, human rights and providing an discrimination-free environment for workers are also planned.
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Hopes to Improve Grassroots Football Facilities
Beyond the prestige of hosting a major tournament, football authorities across the UK and Ireland will be looking to leverage Euro 2028 to accelerate much-needed improvements for grassroots facilities. Investment into youth coaching and infrastructure stemming from the tournament is estimated to result in socio-economic benefits of up to £2.6 billion.
With the Euros coming on the back of a successful hosting of the 2022 Women’s Euros and several matches from the delayed Euro 2020 competition, the organizers will also be looking to enhance security and fan experience by learning from past tournaments. If you want you can also read- Messi Returns, But Inter Miami’s Playoff Dream Ends