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The Aviva Stadium, which would host games alongside Croke Park Alamy Stock Photo
euro 2028

Cabinet approve Ireland's bid to co-host Euro 2028

A final bid will take place in spring, Minister Michael McGrath said.

LAST UPDATE | 15 Nov 2022

MINISTERS HAVE SIGNED off on Ireland’s joint bid to host Euro 28, while Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said that “no major capital outlay” will be necessary should the event happen here. 

Speaking to reporters today, the minister said that because the Aviva Stadium and Croke Park could host matches, no major investment in new facilities is required.

“In that respect, there is no major capital outlay, though there will be some outlay in terms of making sure the stadiums meet the standards for holding matches of that stature. So what we have agreed is a preliminary bid at this point, there has to be a final bid that I understand happens in the springtime.”

“And then it goes through a detailed process beyond that, so Minister Chambers and Minister Martin will say more in relation to their assessment of what the the likely costs are, but those won’t be finalised until the final bid is approved by government.”

The Government has confirmed that it will not have to underwrite the bid to host, as it did for the Rugby World Cup, however it will be committed to providing the guarantees in respect of transport , security and other matters.

When asked if the joint bid would automatically qualify for hosting the event, a government official said:

“It is too early to comment on qualification. A discussion about this will take place with UEFA at the appropriate time if the bid is successful.”

A memo on co-hosting the European football championship was brought before Cabinet by Culture Minister Catherine Martin and Sport Minister Jack Chambers.

The bid, which is being organised between Ireland and the UK, needs to be submitted ahead of the UEFA deadline tomorrow.

Under the plan, both the Aviva and Croke Park would potentially share seven games if the bid succeeds.

It is expected that 120,000 fans would travel to Ireland to attend games if the bid is approved by UEFA.

With the Aviva previously due to host games for Euro 2020 and due to host the 2024 Europa League Final, costs to upgrade the stadium to host games would be low.

However, Croke Park would require further investment to host games.

Last week, Chambers met with representatives from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to discuss the bid.

The Government had previously backed the joint bid to host the football tournament, with a letter of support being sent to the FAI earlier this year.

Currently, the only other bid likely to be submitted to UEFA is from Turkey. Irish authorities believe that there is a strong chance of success for the joint Ireland-UK bid.

The Cabinet also approved the publication of the new Gambling Regulation Bill today.

The new legislation, which has been spearheaded by the Department of Justice, plans to modernise Irish gambling licencing and regulation.

A Gambling Regulatory Authority is also set to be established under the legislation.

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