FOOTBALL will be coming home for Euro 2028 – after Turkey finally officially withdrew from the race.
The FA-led five-nation British Isles bid is now certain to be announced as the hosts of the tournament next Tuesday following Uefa’s confirmation that it has agreed to withdraw Turkey’s candidacy.
That leaves the Wembley-led bid as the lone contender, with the hosting choice to be formally determined at a meeting of Uefa’s ruling executive committee on Monday and then publicly confirmed in Nyon the next day.
As Sun Sport reported in July, Turkey recognised that the British Isles bid was on course to win when it asked Uefa to let it instead co-host the 2032 tournament with Italy.
And that is also what will be announced on Tuesday after Uefa said: “Further to the announcement on July 28 which revealed the desire of the Italian and Turkish FAs to submit a joint bid to stage Uefa Euro 2032, the Uefa administration has today written to both associations to confirm that their joint bid has been duly received and will go forward for assessment and consideration by the Uefa Executive Committee.
"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the FA of Turkey with its submission of the request for a joint bid, their bid to stage Uefa EURO 2028 is consequently withdrawn.
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Inside the abandoned and weed-covered stadium set to host Euro 2028 games
“The award of both tournaments still requires the approval of the Executive Committee at its meeting in Nyon on 10 October.
“The presentations at that meeting will be an important part of the process which will take due consideration of the content of the bid submissions before reaching a decision.”
That decision, though, has already been taken, with senior Uefa figures leaning on the Turks to join up with the Italian bid for the 2032 event rather than staying in contention for 2028.
And it means that the UK and Ireland will jointly host an entire tournament for the first time – after Dublin’s scheduled games at the delayed multi-nation Euro 2020 were moved at the 11th hour because of Covid issues.
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Wembley will be one of six English venues, alongside Villa Park, St James’ Park, the Etihad, Everton’s in-construction new home at Bramley Moore Dock and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, Hampden Park in Glasgow and Casement Park in Belfast – the long-standing home of Gaelic sport in Northern Ireland which is also under reconstruction – will ensure games are played in all five countries.
With Uefa sticking with a 24-team tournament structure, it means 51 matches will be played.
One remaining sticking point is the qualification process fore the host nations, with uefa regulations only allowing two guaranteed slots.
It is expected that all five nations will enter the normal qualification competition to earn their right to take part, although there is likely to be two “back-stop” places left open to ensure a significant portion of the five hosts are involved in the tournament.
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