Officials behind the UK and Ireland’s bid to host Euro 2028 are said to have been warned that UEFA is becoming uneasy over delays in supplying guarantees concerning multiple issues, including the status of venues such as Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Casement Park.
The UK and Ireland bid last month submitted its preliminary dossier to European football’s governing body, with a shortlist of 14 stadia included. The bid, under the vision of ‘Football for all. Football for good. Football for the future’, will see the current stadium shortlist cut further to a final list of 10 venues. Consultations with cities and stadia are continuing with a final list to be submitted to UEFA in April.
Amid this process, The Times has today (Wednesday) reported that guarantees concerning stadia, policing, airports and tax exemptions are frustrating UEFA. The UK and Ireland bid is competing for Euro 2028 with Turkey, which is believed to have signed off all its guarantees already.
Issues concerning the home of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur are believed to involve UEFA’s requirement that host venues present a ‘clean stadium’ free of brands connected to existing sponsors.
While Tottenham has yet to secure a naming rights partner for its new home, which opened in April 2019, the club is widely understood to be in talks with Google and other companies over a contract. The Times, citing insiders at UEFA, said a clean stadium agreement is yet to be reached with the club. Tottenham insists that it has agreed with UEFA to find “an acceptable solution”.
Other venues on the current shortlist with naming rights deals – Etihad Stadium, Principality Stadium and Aviva Stadium – have already provided guarantees that they will be known as City of Manchester Stadium, National Stadium of Wales and Dublin Arena, respectively, for the tournament.
The shortlist includes two venues that are yet to open in Everton’s new home and the long-delayed Casement Park project. UEFA is said to remain unconvinced over the final plan for the latter, which would be Northern Ireland’s only venue.
The Times said UEFA sent a lengthy list of questions to the UK and Ireland bid after the submission of the preliminary dossier, adding it has made it clear that the issues need to be sorted out quickly.
A bid spokesman said: “Following the submission of the UK and Ireland preliminary bid to UEFA in November, we are working through the next phase of the process, including fully responding to UEFA’s follow-up questions.”
A vote on the hosting rights, which will also include a decision on Euro 2032, is scheduled for September 2023.