FAI Announce Euro 2028 Bid

Dvid Prendeville

The Football Association of Ireland recently announced that they, along with their counterparts in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will make a bid to host Euro 2028. This comes after Dublin was scheduled to play host to some games in Euro 2020 before being scuppered by Covid. That tournament was, of course, initially postponed to 2021, where Dublin were one of the cities that had to drop out of hosting games due to restrictions on crowds that were still present in Ireland at the time.
The FAI said, in a statement, that the decision to pursue hosting the 2028 came after conducting a feasibility study that included “an analysis of the economic impact, the political football landscape and likely costs of hosting major international tournaments.”
They went on to say that: “On balance, the five associations have decided to focus solely on an official bid to host UEFA EURO 2028, and have agreed not to bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup.”
Their reasons for opting for the Euro tournament rather than the World Cup of two years later is because the European Championship offers a similar return on investment, with the European tournament carrying a far lower delivery cost and the potential of the benefits being realised sooner.
The FAI went on to say: “It would be an honour and a privilege to collectively host UEFA EURO 2028 and to welcome all of Europe. It would also be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the true impact of hosting a world-class football tournament by driving positive change and leaving a lasting legacy across our communities. We believe the Republic of Ireland and the UK can offer UEFA and European football something special in 2028 – a compact and unique five-way hosting collaboration that will provide a great experience for the teams and the fans.”
Meanwhile Stephen Kenny has signed a new contract that will see him stay on as Ireland manager until the end of Euro 2024. Assistant manager Keith Andrews and coaches Dean Kiely, Stephen Rice and Damien Doyle also signed extensions. However a big blow to Kenny and Ireland has been the recent departure of highly-rated Chelsea coach Anthony Barry who has left to join the Belgium national side. Ironically, Ireland play against the Belgians in a friendly at the Aviva on March 26th.
Kenny said on the new contract: “I consider it the ultimate honour to manage my country and I am delighted to extend my contract. The players are incredibly proud to play for Ireland and in recent performances we have witnessed a powerful connection between the team and the Irish supporters.
The attitude of the players has been exceptional, we have seen the team grow and develop and I, together with Keith Andrews and all of the staff, look forward to seeing the team fulfill its potential. With the recent return of supporters to stadiums, I want to acknowledge the importance of the passionate Irish fans both home and away. Finally, I want to express my appreciation to Jonathan and the Board of the FAI for sharing our belief in the International Squad.” We wish Stephen and the Irish team the very best of luck for the next two years.
It would also be great if the FAI’s bid to host the 2028 Euros comes to fruition, particularly after the disappointment of Euro 2020 falling through. Let’s also hope that by 2028 Irish soccer will be in a much healthier place than it has been in recent times.