With football now returning to some sort of ‘normal’ following the effects of Covid, bids for Euro 2028 are heating up.
Germany is hosting Euro 2024 in 10 different cities, with the qualifying draw set to take place in Frankfurt on October 9.
As well as the hosts’ automatic qualification, 53 countries will be battling for the 23 remaining places in the finals, although Russia will not be among them as they are still suspended after invading Ukraine.
Ahead of Euro 2028, Turkey rivals a joint bid by Britain and Ireland to host the finals.
The preliminary dossier of each bid is due to be submitted to UEFA by mid-November 2022, with the final dossier in April 2023 ahead of the vote next September (2023).
When it comes to the joint bid, Ireland is expected to have two host stadiums, with The Aviva Stadium and Croke Park getting games.
Then Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each have one.
Concluding the planned hosting, The Times says six English stadiums will also get matches at Euro 2028 if the UK and Ireland joint bid is successful.
The Times reports that Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Leeds have already been ruled out.
Chelsea and Liverpool because their pitches are too small, Leeds because local authorities have refused to allocate resources and time to support Elland Road as host city, while Arsenal are also out of contention after accepting that the two London stadiums are ready to be hosted, Wembley and Tottenham are the stadium.
Turkey are also bidding for Euro 2032 against Italy, so there is hope that the UK-Ireland joint bid could become stronger favorites if Turkey end up focusing on that later tournament as a better, more realistic option. With the added carrot that in 2032, 32 countries are expected to take part in the final round of an expanded tournament, as opposed to the current 24 countries.
The Times says only the ten English stadiums are now in the running to be nominated to host Euro 2028.
With six (small chance it could be seven) English stadiums being selected for the bid, that would mean Wembley and Tottenham plus four others.
The eight vying for the remaining four spots, according to The Times, are The London Stadium (West Ham), Villa Park (Aston Villa), Stadium MK (MK Dons), Old Trafford (Man Utd), Etihad (Man City). , Everton’s proposed Bramley Moore Dock Ground, Stadium of Light (Sunderland) and St James’ Park (Newcastle United).
The Times said UEFA would almost certainly take over Villa Park, Old Trafford, Bramley Moore Dock and St James’ Park, as well as Wembley and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
If there were only six English stadiums they certainly wouldn’t hold more than two in London to then allow for a wider spread across the country so they ruled out West Ham.
Then Man Utd prevailed against Man City and Everton’s new homeland, also in the North West.
Not sure how MK Dons could be in the running while Aston Villa would give the Midlands a host city/stadium.
As for Newcastle United v Sunderland, joking aside… it would certainly be ridiculous for games to be played in Mackemland rather than Tyneside.
St James’ Park is of course a bigger and better stadium, with many more corporate hospitality areas and an unbeatable city center location.
But before you even get to all of that, it’s a simple case of logistics.
Newcastle United have the massively superior transport links (airport, trains…) and of course the hotel capacity, plus of course the fact that visitors would much rather stay in Newcastle than in Sunderland.
The idea that the vast majority of fans/visitors arrive in Newcastle and stay in our city but then all have to travel to Sunderland for the games would be just bizarre. Especially when there’s a bigger and better stadium in the heart of our city.
We hope that Newcastle will be confirmed as one of the proposed host cities and that Britain and Ireland will win the bidding war with Turkey.