The soccer associations of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and the Republic of Ireland have today announced a planned joint bid for the 2028 Uefa European Championships, the continent’s top-tier national teams tournament.

In a joint statement, the national bodies said the decision had been taken following “an extensive feasibility study, which assessed the potential opportunities in international football.”

The feasibility study included “an analysis of the economic impact, the political football landscape, and likely costs of hosting major international tournaments.”

As a result, the countries have scrapped plans to bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup despite a pledge from the UK government to support a bid in its latest manifesto and inject £11 million towards it.

In their joint statement, the respective federations added: “Hosting a UEFA Euro offers a similar return on investment, with the European tournament carrying a far lower delivery cost and the potential of the benefits being realized sooner.

“It would be an honor and a privilege to collectively host UEFA Euro 2028 and to welcome all of Europe. We believe the UK and the Republic of Ireland can offer UEFA and European football something special in 2028 – a compact and unique five-way hosting collaboration that will provide a great experience for the teams and the fans.

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“We continue to collaborate with our government partners of the UK and Ireland about the next steps.”

It is understood that the five associations felt the chances of winning a 2030 World Cup bid were increasingly slim.

Spain and Portugal will launch a joint European bid while there is also expected to be a joint South American bid to mark the centenary of the first World Cup held in Uruguay in 1930.

However, a UK and Ireland bid for Euro 2028 is believed to have a good chance of succeeding as UEFA plans to expand the tournament from 24 to 32 teams that year.

The countries are likely to face competition from Italy after the FIGC, its national federation, recently announced plans to host either the 2028 or 2032 European Championships. Turkey and Russia are also believed to be interested.

The next edition of the Euros in 2024 will be held in Germany.

A major soccer tournament has not been staged in the UK in its entirety since 1996 when England hosted the Euros.

However, the country hosted the majority of last summer’s Euro 2020, with seven matches, including both semi-finals and the final, held at Wembley Stadium in London.

Scotland’s Hampden Park hosted four games at Euro 2020, while the Republic of Ireland’s Aviva Stadium was due to hold some group stage games but pulled out of hosting duties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Crowd trouble marred the Euro 2020 final at Wembley – which England lost to Italy – and the national team has subsequently been given a two-game stadium ban by UEFA as a result, albeit with the second suspended for a probationary period of two years.

The Football Association was also fined €100,000 ($114,450) and it remains to be seen if the crowd trouble from the final potentially affects the UK and Ireland bid.

England previously failed with a bid to host the 2018 World Cup.