The soccer federations of Italy and Turkey have today (July 28) requested permission to merge their individual bids to stage the men's European Championship (Euro) into one joint bid to host the flagship national teams tournament in 2032.
The request, made to continental governing body UEFA, paves the way for the UK and Ireland (represented by the soccer associations of England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) to be awarded hosting rights for Euro 2028.
If UEFA accepts Italy and Turkey’s joint proposal, the UK and Ireland bid will be the only one on the table for 2028.
In April, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) submitted a bid dossier to stage the Euros in either Euro 2028 or 2032, while the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) placed a bid for Euro 2032.
UEFA said it will now work with FIGC and TFF “to ensure that the documentation to be submitted for their joint bid is compliant with the bidding requirements.”
The body added that if the joint bid does comply, it will be submitted to its executive committee at a meeting scheduled on October 10, where the host nations for Euro 2028 and 2032 will be made.
UEFA additionally stated that decisions on venues and match schedules will be made at a later stage.
The UK and Ireland's five-nation bid has received support from the respective governments of each country.
It is understood that UEFA has abandoned plans to expand the Euros to 32 teams in 2028 due to concerns raised by broadcasters.
The organization had planned to increase the number of teams in the tournament again but broadcasters around Europe believe it would diminish the commercial value of the qualifiers.
UEFA previously increased the Euros in size from 16 to 24 teams in 2016. A 24-team format would mean only 10 stadiums will need to be used for the tournament.
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