UK, Ireland to host Euro 2028; Turkey-Italy get 2032 edition

The automatic qualification problem for UK & Ireland's Euro 2028 bid (1:27)

Dale Johnson explains the possible solutions to fitting five host countries in to two automatic qualifying spots for Euro 2028. (1:27)

The U.K. and Ireland will host the 2028 European Championship, while Italy and Turkey will stage the 2032 edition of the tournament, UEFA announced on Tuesday.

By accepting a joint Italy-Turkey bid for Euro 2032 last week, and with Turkey withdrawing from the race for Euro 2028, the hosts for both tournaments had all but already been determined by European football's governing body.

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Turkey's withdrawal from the 2028 race left England, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland and Wales as the sole joint bidders for that tournament.

Both sets of bids, however, still needed final approval from UEFA's executive committee that convened on Tuesday.

"Nothing is ever a formality, even right until the last minute," said Debbie Hewitt, chair of the English Football Association (FA). "We took nothing for granted."

Hewitt said efforts to organise the tournament had united the five soccer associations.

"There's so many things that you might think might divide, but actually it has really unified," she said. "I think that will be something that we all feel very proud of."

Euro 2028 will be the largest major sporting event the U.K. and Ireland have ever jointly staged.

Former Welsh international Gareth Bale, who retired in January, said the tournament would boost soccer in Wales.

"I think it's important especially for Wales to keep on the map, to keep pushing forward, to keep trying and better ourselves," he said.

The FA said some 3 million tickets would be available for the tournament, more than at any previous European Championship. Matches will be held in stadiums with an average capacity of 58,000, it added.

Meanwhile, Turks voiced pride on Tuesday on hearing that their country was to co-host soccer's 2032 European Championship with Italy, the most prestigious sporting event it has ever staged.

"The heart of football will beat in Turkey in 2032. We are delighted to co-host Euro 2032 with our friendly country Italy," said sports minister Osman Askin Bak.

"Hosting the Euros will be an important step forward for Turkish football. We have several great stadiums and more under construction," he told reporters outside the Turkish parliament in Ankara.