UK and Ireland to bid for Euro 2028 instead of 2030 World Cup

Soccer Football - Europa League - Round of 16 draw - Nyon, Switzerland - February 28, 2020 General view of the UEFA logo at UEFA Headquarters before the draw REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Britain and Ireland have announced plans for a bid to host the 2028 European Championship, the football associations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland said in a joint statement on Monday.

The five associations have dropped plans to bid for the 2030 World Cup and will focus on the Euros following a feasibility study that analysed the economic impact and estimated costs of hosting major international tournaments.

"Hosting a UEFA EURO 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," they said in a statement.

"We believe the UK and the Republic of Ireland 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."

UEFA said in October that countries interested in hosting the 2028 European Championship must confirm their bid by March.

However, Europe's soccer governing body also said automatic qualification as hosts will not be guaranteed if more than two countries submit a joint bid.

The bidders will be announced in April while the hosts will be appointed in September, 2023. Italy are also planning to put forward a proposal to host either the 2028 or 2032 Euros.

Minimum requirements include having 10 stadiums available, with one having a capacity of at least 60,000 and two venues with at least 50,000 seats.

Euro 2020, postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,w held in several host cities across Europe, withEngland hosting a few games including the semi-finals and final at Wembley Stadiumwhich has a capacity of 90,000.

The 2024 tournament will be hosted by Germany.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Alex Richardson and Ed Osmond

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