It now appears that the UK-Ireland bid to host Euro 2028 will stand unopposed next Tuesday after Turkey withdrew from the UEFA bidding process.
It will be a big news day here - Budget 2024 and Euro 2028. While the former will directly impact the entire country, the latter's impact will be seen mainly around the leafy, southside of Dublin.
Ever since the UEFA European Championships were started back in 1960 the hosts have been part of the finals. On every occasion, even when just 4 teams played in the Finals (1960-1976), at least two locations were used in the host country.
The first two Finals in France and Spain used to locations. Italy 1986 expanded this to three but is probably best remembered for the coin toss semi-final victory of the hosts over the Soviet Union. Penalty shoot-outs would arrive as a result. While Euro 2020 changed the traditional format, and move towards city hosts, Euro 2028 seems to be somewhere between this and the upcoming Euro 2024, hosted entirely by Germany.
If the UK-Ireland bid is successful, it will be the first time "host" countries use just one location.
England will probably have 5-6 stadia in use, but UEFA members Northern Ireland (Belfast), Rep. of Ireland (Dublin), Scotland (Edinburgh) and Wales (Cardiff) will just have one.
It is hardly the country hosting the Euros but rather the city, just like Baku, Budapest, Copenhagen and others in 2020. Nobody suggests Romania hosted Euro 2020. The country can be altered. Automatic qualification, one of the biggest rewards for hosting, is also not guaranteed at Euro 2028.
It would appear that this is a nice PR exercise between these islands and UEFA members, with England allowing nearby capitals host games. A localized version of Euro 2020 where London played the lead role.
Is "Ireland" hosting Euro 2028? I don't think so. Dublin is the venue some games and maybe Belfast but the rest of the island will look on like every other country.