UEFA HAVE CONFIRMED THAT IRELAND WILL CO-HOST THE 2028 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP ALONGSIDE THE UNITED KINGDOM.
The announcement was made by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin in Switzerland on Tuesday morning, in light of the news that Turkey had withdrawn their bid, instead hosting the 2032 edition.
It will be the first time in history that a major football tournament will be hosted in the Republic of Ireland.
Games will be played in ten different grounds across the five associations: the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, a redeveloped Casement Park in Belfast, Hampden Park in Glasgow, the Principality Stadium in Cardiff as well as five stadia in England.
Speaking on the news, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expressed how he is ‘over the moon’ and also hinted at potential reinvestment in the country’s facilities.
“It will be the biggest event ever hosted by our two islands working together,
“We’re willing to invest in the Aviva Stadium and Casement Park to ensure that the stadia, north and south, are ready to welcome the world.” Mr. Varadkar said.
Dublin will host six games at the tournament – four group games, a last 16 tie and a quarter final.
It is yet to be determined whether the five countries involved will automatically qualify for the tournament. According to Sky Sports, UEFA is sticking to its rules which state that no more than two host nations can be granted automatic qualifying spots for the tournament finals.
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste is delighted that Dublin will be able to host such a major event after circumstances meant that the country could not co-host EURO 2020.
“After the disappointment of losing out late in the day on the opportunity to co-host UEFA EURO 2020, today’s news will finally allow Dublin to take its place as a host city for the biggest sporting event ever to be held here.”
The news will certainly be a talking point in Stephen Kenny’s press conference this week as he prepares for crunch ties against Gibraltar and Greece in the 2024 European qualifiers.