Everton Football Club and the city of Liverpool join joint UK and Ireland bid to host the UEFA EURO 2028 football championship. Tony McDonough reports
Everton FC’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is being lined up as one of the venues for the UEFA EURO 2028 football championship.
Along with the city of Liverpool, Everton was confirmed on Wednesday as a partner in the joint UK and Ireland bid to hold the tournament in five years’ time. There are 10 stadiums in the two countries included in the bid.
They are Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, City of Manchester Stadium, St James’ Park, Villa Park, National Stadium of Wales, Hampden Park, Dublin Arena and Casement Park in Belfast.
It was 1996 when the tournament was last held in the UK. However, the matches were only held in English venues. Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium is not part of the bid as the pitch is too small to meet the minimum tournament requirements.
Work on Everton’s stadium in Liverpool Waters started in summer 2021. The club aims to move out of its current home at Goodison Park and into the new arena in time for the 2024/25 football season.
Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “The prestige of being a host city brings many benefits beyond participating in a festival of football.
“It will allow the club and the local authorities to build on the already transformational impact that Everton Stadium will bring to our city region and to inspire young people from many of our diverse communities.
“In 1966, Goodison Park hosted five matches, including a World Cup semi-final. That tournament is fondly remembered by people across the North West and it introduced the region to new cultures and outlooks.”
Liverpool City Council hopes a successful bid would also provide longer term benefits through tourism promotion, social enterprise and other business and training opportunities.
Interim chief executive of the authority, Theresa Grant, added: “Our city has football in its DNA and we are used to giving a massive welcome to football fans from across Europe and beyond.
“From European Capital of Culture to Eurovision, Liverpool has an unrivalled track record in delivering diverse and inclusive festivals.
“UEFA EURO 2028 in Liverpool would be much more than games taking place on the pitch as we will develop a programme that will involve the whole city and wider Liverpool city region.”
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, part of the England team that reached the final of UEFA Euro 2020, took part in a photoshoot at the site of Everton Stadium as part of the bid submission.
He said: “Having proudly represented my country at major tournaments, I’ve seen the pride and impact being a host venue has on the clubs and people in those areas.
“If this bid is successful then the people of Liverpool will have the opportunity to be a part of something truly special and to show off what a fantastic and welcoming city it is.”