Soccer-Sunak celebrates UK being named as Euro 2028 hosts with Three Lions

By Lori Ewing

BURTON-UPON-TRENT (Reuters) – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak celebrated the United Kingdom being named as hosts of the 2028 European Championship with Ireland by visiting England’s footballers at St. George’s Park on Tuesday.

Sandwiched between Three Lions captain Harry Kane and manager Gareth Southgate, Sunak posed for photos holding a No. 28 England sweater.

“I grew up with Euro 96 being one of the most amazing memories of my childhood,” Sunak said in a statement.

“We have a chance to do that all over again for lots more people just like we did last year with the Lionesses (who won the 2022 Women’s Euro at London’s Wembley Stadium).

“We host tournaments better than anyone else. It’s going to be a massive boost for the economy. We’re going to welcome millions of people to the country, and it’s going to inspire a whole new generation.”

England were training ahead of Friday’s friendly against Australia at Wembley. They will also host Italy in a Euro qualifier next Tuesday.

Ten stadiums in England, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland will host Euro 2028 matches.

“Obviously the four (nations) as well, and all the different stadiums and different atmosphere, it’s a real buzz,” West Ham forward Jerrod Bowen told reporters at St. George’s.

“Everyone’s excited about the news that came out today, so just more of a buzz when that comes about.”

England and Everton keeper Jordan Pickford said it was a “proud moment” for his club, who will host games at their new stadium in Liverpool.

“It’s brilliant for fans across Merseyside and the north west that Everton Stadium will be a venue for Euro 2028,” Pickford said in a statement.

“Football means a lot to this city so it’s special to have such high-profile international matches played here.

“The England fans supported us all the way to the final in the last Euros, so I’ve no doubt fans across the UK and Ireland will ensure the tournament is another memorable one.”

England were runners-up to Italy at the 2020 Euros, which were held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Reporting by Lori Ewing, editing by Pritha Sarkar)