Euro 2028 will be held across the UK and Ireland, a tournament that organizers say will incorporate the lessons learned from the chaos and violence that overshadowed the Euro 2021 final at Wembley Stadium.
(Bloomberg) — Euro 2028 will be held across the UK and Ireland, a tournament that organizers say will incorporate the lessons learned from the chaos and violence that overshadowed the Euro 2021 final at Wembley Stadium.
UEFA on Tuesday confirmed that England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland will co-host the 2028 edition of the tournament, after the bid ran unopposed. UEFA awarded the 2032 tournament to a joint bid from Turkey and Italy.
The announcement was made at UEFA’s lakeside headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, with little of the last-minute suspense of a typical selection process, after Turkey withdrew its solo bid for the 2028 edition of the tournament earlier this month.
Anticipation that England might win its first major tournament since World Cup victory in 1966 had already put football fans on edge on the day of the final between the home nation and Italy in July, 2021. But the excitement turned to chaos as thousands of fans without tickets stormed the turnstiles at 90,000-seat Wembley. The ensuing violence prompted a formal probe from UEFA’s disciplinary committee and also a post-mortem from the English FA into what went wrong.
Its 128-page report highlighted the “huge abuse” of booze and drugs around the stadium in the runup to the final, as well as racist language directed at some of England’s Black players in the wake of its loss to Italy in penalty kicks.
Overall, the report concluded, there was a “collective failure” of organizers to plan for and anticipate what could transpire given the “perfect storm” of post-Covid circumstances surrounding the final.
Debbie Hewitt, chair of the English FA and the UK-Ireland bid, told reporters after the announcement on Tuesday that the events around the Euro 2021 final “was a very sad day for English football.”
“We actually started with a ‘how can we make sure that that reputation is absolutely put to bed’ and particularly that we learn all the lessons from that,” she said.
It’s not a foregone conclusion that Wembley will host the final. Planning for which cities and countries get which matches “all starts now” and is a “detail to be worked through with UEFA,” according to Hewitt.
Two of the 10 stadia included in the UK-Ireland bid in Belfast and Liverpool have yet to be completed. However, funding for the construction of the two facilities “is committed,” with government commitment for the redevelopment of the Casement Park site in Belfast, said Hewitt.
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri said earlier this year that building a £760 million stadium was “ an enormous challenge for the club,” according to the sports radio show Talksport.
Moshiri, who has invested hundreds of millions of pounds in Everton, has since agreed to sell the team to Miami-based investment group 777 Partners, subject to regulatory checks. The near-53,000 stadium, which is still being constructed, stands on the waterfront in Liverpool’s Bramley-Moore Docks
–With assistance from David Hellier.
(Updates with comments from England FA Chair Debbie Hewitt)
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.