Euro 2028 could be coming to Scotland - why Murrayfield will be considered ahead of Celtic Park and Ibrox

UEFA are today expected to give Scotland the go ahead to host matches at Euro 2028 as part of a successful UK and Ireland bid.

By Moira Gordon
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2022, 8:18 am

There are currently no rival submissions, with Turkey’s initial interest waning after they discovered they would not be unopposed and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine squashing any ambitions the 2018 World Cup hosts might have had.

Italy were the other possible contenders but they are rumoured to be eyeing up 2032 instead.

Which means, with the deadline set for 5pm today, the home nations’ plans to host the third biggest sporting event in the world, are set to be given the green light.

Hampden hosted matches as part of last summer's delayed Euro 2020 Championships, and is set to do so again as part of the Euro 2028 bid, with Murrayfield also under consideration. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Scotland’s national stadium played its part in the delayed multi-nation staging of the 2020 championships, as UEFA spread the matches between 11 different countries as a way of celebrating the 60th anniversary of the competition.

The host nations still do not know if they will all automatically qualify for the staging, as the tournament is expanded to 32 teams, but Hampden will again feature on the list of venues, along with Wembley, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, Windsor Park, in Belfast and the Aviva Stadium, in Dublin. Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby, has also been included in the list of anticipated stadia.

Hosts must submit a bid with at least ten stadiums. A minimum of one must boast a 60,000 capacity, preferably two more must have be 50,000-seater, four require 40,000 seats and three must have 30,000.

While Scotland could utilise the likes of Celtic Park and Ibrox, it is understood that the organisers want to spread the games geographically and include the Scottish capital in the list of host cities, which will also include Liverpool and Manchester.

But more should be revealed after today’s deadline, when preparations can begin in earnest.

The bid process was due to run through to late next year, with workshops scheduled and final dossiers required by next spring ahead of the presentations and the vote in September 2023.

But, with no rival submissions to consider, provided UK and Ireland meet all the technical requirements, they could get the go-ahead straight away.

If they do, it will vindicate last month’s decision to walk away from their push for the 2030 World Cup, which has already attracted the attention of several other nations and which was shown to be a far greater financial burden.

"The feasibility study included an analysis of the economic impact, the political football landscape and likely costs of hosting major international tournaments,” the UK and Ireland football associations said in a statement at that time.

"Hosting a UEFA EURO offers a similar return on investment, with the European tournament carrying a far lower delivery cost and the potential of the benefits being realised sooner.

"It would be an honour and a privilege to collectively host UEFA EURO 2028 and to welcome all of Europe.

"It would also be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the true impact of hosting a world-class football tournament by driving positive change and leaving a lasting legacy across our communities.

"We believe the UK and the Republic of Ireland can offer UEFA and European football something special in 2028 – a compact and unique five-way hosting collaboration that will provide a great experience for the teams and the fans."