A UK and Ireland bid to host the 2028 football European Championship is set to succeed, paving the way for matches to be played at Everton FC’s new £750m stadium. Tony McDonough reports
Everton’s new £750m stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is set to host matches during the 2028 European Championship tournament.
On Wednesday morning Turkey withdrew its bid to host the event, which sees Europe’s top national teams compete for the trophy. This leaves the UK and Ireland as the only remaining bidder. UEFA is almost certain to approve the bid next week.
It will mean games will be played in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The tournament last came to the British Isles in 1996 when it was hosted by England alone.
Everton’s new 52,888-capacity stadium is set to replace Goodison Park as the club’s new home during the 2024/25 football season giving the venue plenty of time to prepare for 2028.
There are 10 stadiums in the two countries included in the bid. The others 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.
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 EURO 2028 bid was launched in April.
Speaking at the time, Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, 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.”
Liverpool City Council hopes a successful bid would also provide longer term benefits through tourism promotion, social enterprise and other business and training opportunities.
UEFA confirmed on Wednesday that Turkey had pulled out of its 2028 bid in order to focus on a joint bid with Italy to host the 2032 tournament.
It said: “As indicated by the FA of Turkey with its submission of the request for a joint bid, their bid to stage UEFA EURO 2028 is consequently withdrawn.
“The award of both tournaments still requires the approval of the executive committee at its meeting in Nyon on October 10.
“The presentations at that meeting will be an important part of the process which will take due consideration of the content of the bid submissions before reaching a decision.”