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Italy and Turkey opt for joint Euro 2032 bid

Featured image credit: Wembley Stadium

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and Italian Football Federation (FIGC) have today (Friday) revised their bids for the UEFA European Championship by submitting a joint proposal for the 2032 tournament, a move that seemingly leaves the UK and Ireland in the box seat to stage Euro 2028.

The TFF and FIGC said they have decided a submit a joint bid for Euro 2032 to European football’s governing body following a consultation and evaluation process. In 2021, UEFA initiated a bidding process for the hosting of two consecutive editions of its European Championship, in 2028 and 2032.

In March 2022, the UK and Ireland’s pathway to co-hosting Euro 2028 was complicated with both Russia and Turkey announcing that they would bid for the tournament. UEFA confirmed it had received declarations of interest to host the 2028 and 2032 editions of the European Championship from four potential bidders.

The announcement came following the deadline for submissions. As expected, a joint declaration of interest was submitted by the football associations of England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales for Euro 2028.

Russia and Turkey declared their interest in hosting either the 2028 or 2032 edition of UEFA’s flagship national team competition, while Italy, also as expected, announced its intention to bid for Euro 2032. However, UEFA subsequently terminated Russia’s bid for Euro 2028 or 2032 as part of further sanctions issued against the country in May for its invasion of Ukraine.

The FIGC and TFF today said the successful completion of past tournaments held using a co-hosting model, such as Euro 2020, Euro 2012, Euro 2008 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup, as well as studies conducted for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada, have shown that “when tournaments of this magnitude are organised jointly, more football fans are engaged and tournaments are completed efficiently and sustainably”.

In the event UEFA accepts the joint bid proposal submitted today, the FIGC and TFF said the remaining bid process will be carried out jointly and the information and documents requested by UEFA will be updated and submitted.

The host cities and stadiums will be determined amongst the stadiums previously submitted to UEFA by the two federations and the tournament will be equally distributed between the two countries. The final decision on the selection of host cities and stadiums will be made after further evaluation.

In April, the FIGC said 10 cities would host games should Italy be successful over Turkey in the race to stage Euro 2032. The 10 cities included Italy’s capital, Rome, and the football powerhouses of Milan and Turin. The remaining seven hosts were Verona, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Naples, Bari and Cagliari. Only Palermo, Sicily’s capital city, was dropped from the long list of 11 that was submitted last year.

“We are facing a historic turning point which has as its objective the enhancement of continental football,” FIGC president, Gabriele Gravina, said today.

“The project, in addition to bringing two consolidated realities in the European football scene closer together, enhances the values ​​of friendship and cooperation, involving two worlds characterised by deep historical roots, two cultures which, over the millennia, have mutually crossed over into each other, substantially influencing the history of Mediterranean Europe. Football wants to be an ideal bridge for sharing the passions and emotions related to sport.”

President of the TFF, Mehmet Büyükekşi, added: “Today, we have made an important decision for both Turkish and European football. Our partnership with the Italian Football Federation reflects the values of friendship and cooperation within European football.

“I believe that this joint move will strengthen the existing cooperation between the two Mediterranean countries, those have been part of a similar culture and deep-rooted history for centuries, and will build an important bridge for the future of our football.”

UEFA today confirmed that it had received the FIGC and TFF’s request, adding it will now work with the two federations to ensure that the documentation to be submitted for their joint bid is compliant with the bidding requirements.

If the joint bid does comply with such requirements, it will be submitted to the UEFA Executive Committee at the meeting scheduled on October 10, where the appointments for 2028 and 2032 will be made. Decisions on venues and match schedules will be made at a later stage.

In April, Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, was omitted from the 10 venues proposed in the UK & Ireland’s final bid to host Euro 2028.

Organisers submitted a plan featuring venues in nine cities across England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These include Wembley Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, Casement Park in Belfast, and Glasgow’s Hampden Park.

The English cities of Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle (St James’ Park) and Birmingham (Villa Park) will also host games. Organisers selected Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and Everton’s under-construction new stadium in Liverpool as the venues in those two cities.

Old Trafford, West Ham United’s London Stadium, Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and Dublin’s Croke Park were omitted from the 14-venue long-list that was unveiled last November. Liverpool’s Anfield was not included as its pitch dimensions do not meet UEFA requirements.

Germany landed hosting rights to Euro 2024 in September 2018, with the tournament to be held in 10 stadia across the country. UEFA chose Germany over a rival bid from Turkey. Germany gained 12 of the UEFA Executive Committee votes to Turkey’s four, with one abstention.