In order to focus their efforts on staging the European Championship, Britain and Ireland made the decision to shelve their plans to bid for the hosting rights of the 2030 World Cup. Their bid for the 2028 tournament had already emerged as the frontrunner.
A statement released by UEFA on Wednesday confirmed that the joint bid from the United Kingdom and Ireland to host Euro 2028 now stands unopposed, as Turkey has withdrawn from the bidding process.
The announcement of the hosting countries for both the 2028 and 2032 Euros will be made during a meeting of UEFA’s executive committee scheduled for Tuesday, October 10.
Initially, Turkey was a candidate for both 2028 and 2032, having previously bid unsuccessfully to stage every Euro since 2008. However, in July, Turkey agreed to join forces with Italy for the bid to host the 2032 edition. At that time, it remained unclear whether Turkey would withdraw its bid for 2028.
UEFA confirmed that Turkey has now redirected all its efforts towards the joint bid with Italy, stating, “As indicated by the FA of Turkey with its submission of the request for a joint bid, their bid to stage UEFA Euro 2028 is consequently withdrawn.”
Consequently, the decision on the hosting rights for both editions is expected to be a mere formality, with the UK and Ireland uncontested for 2028, and Italy and Turkey having no rivals for 2032.
England, which hosted the women’s Euro last year, last organized a men’s major tournament during Euro 96, featuring 16 teams. Moreover, Wembley Stadium hosted the final of the delayed Euro 2020, which included 24 teams, due to the pandemic. England and Scotland collectively hosted 12 matches during that tournament.
Italy, on the other hand, hosted matches in Rome for Euro 2020 but has not hosted a tournament solely since the 1990 World Cup. The country hosted the final stages of the four-team Euro in 1968 and the eight-team tournament in 1980.
Although Turkey hosted this year’s Champions League final in Istanbul, it has never been awarded the privilege of hosting a major international competition.
Initially, Russia expressed interest in hosting either the 2028 or 2032 Euro. However, UEFA subsequently declared that it would not consider any bid from the Russian Football Union, following the suspension of Russian clubs and national teams from all UEFA competitions due to the war in Ukraine.
The upcoming Euro will take place in Germany next year, spanning from June 14 to July 14.