On Tuesday afternoon, UEFA announced all the details regarding the European Championships of 2028.
Germany will host the next Euros, in 2024, with that competition kicking off in just 976 days time.
Below are all the details that are known so far about Euro 2028.
What will the format be?
As has been the case since 2016, the European Championship Finals will feature 24 teams split into six groups of four.
The qualification format is as yet unknown but is likely to be similar to Euro 2020.
This involves group winners and runners-up qualifying automatically with play-off places awarded based on side’s Nations League performances.
How many venues are needed to host?
Ten stadiums will host matches at Euro 2028 and they must have the following minimum capacities:
- 3 stadiums with 30,000+ capacity
- 4 stadiums with 40,000+ capacity
- 1 stadium (preferably 2) with 50,000+ capacity
- 1 stadium with 60,000+ capacity- to host the final and opening match.
What are the key dates for potential hosts?
23 March 2022: Deadline for national associations to formally confirm interest in hosting.
30 March 2022: Hosting requirements are confirmed to potential hosts.
5 April 2022: Announcement of bidders’ shortlist.
12 April 2023: Potential hosts dossier submission deadline.
September 2023: Hots(s) announced by UEFA
Who has expressed an interest in bidding?
Turkey have bid to host the last five Euros (2008, 2012, 2016, 2020 & 2024) without ever being successful.
The city of İstanbul has also bid to host the Olympic Games of 2000, 2008 and 2020 without coming close to winning.
There are currently 16 stadiums in Turkey with that all important 30,000+ capacity.
However, very few meet UEFA standards and the four largest that do are all based the country’s capital.
The Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadı is the largest at 75,000 and has/will host the Champions League Finals of 2005 and 2023.
Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia
Their provisional World Cup bid would see four host venues in each of the four nations as 16 are needed for the expanded World Cup.
However, it remains to be seen which cities and stadiums will be formally submitted if they do officially bid for the Euros.
Just seven stadiums across the four nations have a capacity of 30,000+ and are a UEFA category four venue, the highest rating one can receive.
What’s also unknown is if the financial problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will derail any potential bid.
Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway
This would see the tournament split across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
However, only four stadiums in these four countries are UEFA category four and have a 30,000+ capacity.
These are located in Copenhagen, Helsinki with two in Stockholm, the largest of which is Sweden’s home the Friends Arena at 50,000.
Another stumbling block is the fact that UEFA will only allow a maximum of two hosts to qualify automatically.
This could be another potential sticking point for a bid like this across multiple countries.
Italy previously hosted the Euros in 1968 and 1980 as well as the World Cups of 1934 and, most recently 1990.
In October 2021, they hosted the UEFA Nations League Finals with matches played at Allianz Stadium and San Siro.
Surprisingly, those are two of just three venues in the country with 30,000+ seats and UEFA category four rating.
The other is Stadio Olimpico in Rome which part-hosted Euro 2020 including the opening match.
This is because many of the stadiums were built for Italia ’90 so are now old and would need renovating if they were to host a future tournament.
Spain and Portugal
They’re currently Europe’s leading candidates to host World Cup 2030 but face stiff competition from other continents.
Nine stadiums in Spain boast the requirements to host European Championship Finals matches.
Meanwhile, Estádio da Luz and Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon and Porto’s Estádio do Dragão would also be excellent, already up to scratch venues.
Don’t be surprised one bit if either Euro 2028 or World Cup 2030 is awarded to this bid.
If this was successful, given that 16 venues would be needed, it would be played across England, Scotland, Wales and, potentially, all of Ireland.
However, for a European Championships requiring just ten stadiums, England could bid alone.
For World Cups bids, UEFA don’t want two European bids to get to the final round to avoid the possibility of the vote being split.
As it stands, Portugal/Spain looks more likely to get that far in World Cup bidding.
So, The FA could turn their attention to Euro 2028.
With numerous iconic, large stadiums, very little renovation would be needed.
Football could be coming home in 2028, as it did in 1996, but this is still a long way off yet.