Russia have declared an interest to host Euro 2028 after the UK and Ireland formalised their interest on Wednesday, with accusations Russia’s only intention is to ‘make mischief’.
Russian clubs and national teams are currently banned from competing in UEFA and FIFA competitions due to the invasion of Ukraine, pending an appeal.
Nevertheless, the Football Union of Russia announced after an executive meeting on Wednesday that it agreed to ‘support the decision to declare interest in hosting the European Championship 2028 or 2032 in Russia’.
UEFA later released a statement confirming which countries had submitted bids for the Euros. It confirmed that the UK and Ireland, Russia and Turkey had declared interest in 2028 while Russia, Turkey and Italy were interested in 2032.
On whether a bid from Russia could even be admitted and considered, a further UEFA statement said: “The Bureau of the FIFA Council and the UEFA executive committee decided on February 28 to suspend all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice.
“However, no suspension of the Russian Football Union was imposed at that time.
“The UEFA Executive Committee will nevertheless remain on standby to convene further extraordinary meetings, on a regular ongoing basis where required – in addition to its already-scheduled meetings of April 7 and May 10 – to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary, including in light of the declaration of interest expressed by the Russian Football Union for hosting the UEFA EURO.”
There were suggestions the UK and Ireland could face no competition to host the tournament, however a bid by Turkey has now been confirmed.
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The FAs of England, Wales, Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland released a joint-statement confirming a formal bid was submitted on Wednesday.
The statement read: “With this unique partnership, we are taking the appropriate next steps and our ambition is to stage a successful UEFA Euro which will be a wonderful celebration of football for fans and teams.
“We believe Euro 2028 would be one of the greatest sporting events ever held in the UK and Ireland.
“This unprecedented partnership of five associations offers something special to European football, including the potential for an expanded tournament, and we are passionate about maximising the sustainability and legacy benefits for communities across the UK and Ireland.
“Over the coming months, we will develop our proposals further, subject to the publication by UEFA of the full technical specification. This includes engaging in discussions with possible host cities and stadia to define the optimum tournament model and conducting full costs and benefits analysis.
“The UK and Ireland will offer an unrivalled tournament from a technical perspective – with modern, well-connected stadia and excellent infrastructure – that makes our partnership ideal to host Euro 2028.”
The joint statement released on Wednesday morning continued: “Football must do everything possible to show how our sport can be a force for good – now, more than ever.
“We are resolute in our belief in the power of football to help bring people together.
“We now look forward to receiving further tournament requirements and continuing our constructive dialogue with UEFA to advance our bid plans.”
Tariq Panja, global sports reporter at the New York Times, joined talkSPORT to offer his verdict on Russia’s later entry to the bidding process.
“It’s typical Russia here, isn’t it,” he told Hawksbee and Jacobs.
“I just think they’re doing it as complete mischief making.
“By the rule book, they can bid. The interesting thing is Russia are banned – and it’s nothing to do with invading Ukraine it’s to do with the institutional doping scandal – from bidding for global events, World Cups and World Championships, but they’re not blocked from bidding for regional events.
“And so they’ve said, ‘alright we’re going to go in for this’, pretty much to make mischief and it has annoyed people.
“What it will also do is, if Russia bid, I think it’s going to have other people bid, too.
“Aleksander Ceferin would prefer one bidder without having the rigmarole and the mess that can come with these bidding competitions, and now I understand Turkey and Italy could also make a bid, which is their right, but it also creates a bit of a stink.”
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