UEFA seeks Euro 2028 host with 24 teams – possibly more
UEFA invited the candidates on Tuesday to organize a 24-team European Championship in 2028, without however ruling out changing the dates and format of the tournament.
The European football body has considered whether to further expand the tournament to include 32 of its 55 member countries, officials said in July during the success of Euro 2020.
UEFA set a March deadline on Tuesday for members to express interest in hosting a 24-team, 51-game format in 2028, though warned plans could change.
Until tournament rules are confirmed, “information regarding dates, number of participating teams and number of matches is provisional,” UEFA said.
UEFA is looking for its own hosts amid uncertain international football calendar as FIFA makes proposals to host the World Cup every two years despite widespread European opposition.
Even if FIFA does manage to secure support for a biennial tournament, a 2028 World Cup is unlikely due to a back-to-back clash with the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics scheduled for July 21 to August 21. 6.
UEFA has set a September 2023 target for its host decision – less than five years before the kick-off scheduled for June 2028.
Russia and Turkey are possible candidates to host the tournament on their own without needing to build one of the 10 stadiums required by UEFA. A stadium of at least 60,000 seats is required for the final.
Spain could be a candidate if they are not involved in the bid for the 2030 World Cup. This project would probably be a co-hosting plan with Portugal.
“Joint bids are allowed (for Euro 2028), provided the candidate countries are geographically compact,” UEFA said.
Hosting Euro 2020 in 11 different countries – after Belgium and Ireland withdrew from the initial plan – was a unique experience, UEFA has long insisted.
Two co-hosts would get automatic entries to the finals, but a bid from three nations “cannot be guaranteed” to all secure places, UEFA said.
UEFA’s flagship event for national teams was for 16 teams from 1996 to 2012, co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine. It has expanded to 24 teams for Euro 2016 in France.
Euro 2024 is organized by Germany.