Etihad Stadium set to host Euro 2028 as UK and Ireland’s host bid goes unopposed

The Etihad Stadium is set to host several matches for the 2028 European Championship as England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland’s joint bid to host the tournament now stands unopposed.

Following Turkey’s withdrawal of their bid to host the competition – after arranging to join Italy’s bid for the 2032 version – the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are to be named as holders of the tournament.

However, the success of their bid is subject to approval from UEFA’s executive committee in Switzerland – which is meeting to discuss the issue next week.

The Etihad Stadium – which is famously home to treble winners Manchester City – was named as one of 10 grounds at the heart of the UK and Ireland’s 2028 bid in April this year.

As a result, this news means that The Etihad is set to host a series of matches during the tournament – likely to include several group and knockout fixtures, with the final expected to be played at Wembley Stadium.

This competition is to be the first formally hosted by England since Euro 96, during which Manchester United’s Old Trafford was a selected ground.

The 2020 edition of the European Championships – played in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic – saw Wembley Stadium as one of its host grounds as the tournament was spread throughout the continent.

Germany is to host the next version of the competition in 2024 – with grounds in Munich, Berlin and Dortmund having been at the forefront of its successful bid.

Formally named as the City of Manchester Stadium, the Etihad has a capacity of 53,400 – making it the sixth largest ground in England and the ninth largest in the UK.

It opened in 2002 following three years of construction – costing a reported £112 million – with the purpose of hosting the Commonwealth Games.

Since then, it has been a focal point of the nation’s biggest sporting events – including several international fixtures across a range of competitions.

Work is currently underway to extend the complex’s net capacity to 61,747 by the end of 2026.

At the time of the Etihad’s selection for the tournament, Manchester City Council Leader Bev Craig, said: “Manchester is a great sporting city and is known the world over for its passion for football.

“We’re really excited to be part of the UK & Ireland bid to host the UEFA EURO 2028 tournament – which if successful will provide not just a fantastic boost for the city’s economy, but also a chance for fans of the sport, new and old, to get directly involved in what is sure to be some top tournament action here on our doorstep.”

The other stadiums included in the final proposal are Wembley Stadium (London), National Stadium of Wales (Cardiff), Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (London), Everton Stadium (Liverpool), St James’ Park, (Newcastle), Villa Park (Birmingham), Hampden Park (Glasgow), Dublin Arena (Dublin) and Casement Park (Belfast).

Featured imaged credit: Sarmad Yaseen via Wikimedia Commons

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