UEFA have officially announced the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland as the hosts for the 2028 European Championship tournament.
The announcement comes after a bid process that saw England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland join forces to secure the tournament unopposed.
The joint hosting responsibilities encompass ten venues, with six located in England. These include Wembley Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Etihad Stadium, St James’ Park, Villa Park and Everton’s new home at Bramley-Moore Dock ground.
The redeveloped Casement Park in Belfast, the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Hampden Park in Glasgow and the Principality Stadium in Cardiff are also part of the extensive venue list.
Despite being rubberstamped as one of five host nations for the tournament scheduled to kick off in five years, England have requested to go through the qualification stage for Euro 2028.
The English Football Association wants to keep the team in peak competitive form in the build-up to the tournament.
Their decision potentially stems from concerns raised after witnessing the struggles of Euro 2024 hosts Germany, who have faced difficulties in their warm-up friendly fixtures.
Before their 2-1 win over France last month, the three-time European champions had failed to win any of their previous five friendly games, with one draw and four defeats.
The English FA’s approach also addresses concerns about the calibre of opposition England would face if they were limited to friendlies.
England will be joined in the Euro 2028 qualifying round by the other co-hosts, with UEFA guidelines stipulating that no more than two host nations can be granted automatic qualifying spots for the tournament.
The automatic qualification places could be held in reserve to be awarded to any of the five countries that fail to secure a place in the tournament through the qualifying process.
However, the situation surrounding automatic qualification spots is still subject to deliberation within UEFA.
Several figures have reportedly expressed unease about the prospect of countries that failed to qualify being handed a spot in the finals.
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