World News

Russia to rival UK & Ireland to host Euro 2028

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
The last-minute bid comes as a real shock
The last-minute bid comes as a real shock / Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Russia are set to rival the United Kingdom & Ireland's bid to host Euro 2028, despite currently being banned from competing in UEFA-sanctioned competitions.

The UK and Ireland were expected to be unchallenged in their attempts to win the showpiece event after previously pulling out of the running for the 2030 World Cup.

However, they have been shocked by an audacious attempt by Russia to prevent their ascension as hosts.

Included in minutes from the Russian Football Union's annual meeting on Wednesday was a commitment to challenging for the 2028 or 2032 Euros – the latter of which is currently expected to be handed to Italy.

RFU executive Rustem Saimanov was also quoted as saying: "The RFU is going to apply for the European Championships 2028 and 2032, this is not a joke, yes.

"Life goes on with us, we are open and ready, we should not be closed to UEFA and FIFA. We held many competitions at a high level.

"Let's go, I admit that there is a lot of time, the situation will change, we will study everything. I can’t say that it will be held in 2028, but in 2032 - yes. We have now asked for documents to study all the requirements, we will wait."

The statement is quite remarkable, considering Russia is currently the pariah of the international community following their recent invasion of Ukraine.

In the immediate aftermath of the war beginning, the national team was banned from playing while Russian clubs were also suspended from European club competitions.

Russia's bid seems extremely unlikely to be selected over the UK and Ireland, and provided the governments of both countries can give UEFA certain assurances by the close of the year, there should be no further problems in handing them the tournament.