Government is ‘positively disposed’ towards a Euro 2028 bid

Ministers want clearer understanding of costs and benefits before backing joint bid

The Government is said to be "positively disposed" towards a bid to co-host the 2028 European Championships but it wants a "clearer understanding" of the costs and benefits involved in hosting the event before making a decision to support an attempt to land the soccer tournament for Ireland and Britain.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) on Monday formally announced it was launching a joint bid for Euro 2028 with England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The State had spent about €155,000 on scoping out a potential joint bid for the 2030 World Cup before the proposal was dropped by the five football associations in question in favour of pursuing Euro 2028.

The FAI has said that the Euros offers a similar return on investment to a World Cup, with “the European tournament carrying a far lower delivery cost and the potential of the benefits being realised sooner”.


Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers said the Government is "positively disposed" towards the Euro 2028 bid process during an interview with Newstalk radio on Monday evening.

He said major sporting events have boosted tourism and leave behind a legacy of participation benefits to the sports in question.

Possible venues

Mr Chambers said he would expect more than one State stadium to be involved in any bid but also acknowledged it was possible the venues could be limited to the Aviva Stadium and Croke Park in Dublin. He said: “It may involve other stadia and that’s why we have the structured process to see what the needs are and also what . . . infrastructure will be required in any stadia and then examining the regional benefits.”

Mr Chambers said a Government decision on whether or not to support an expression of interest to host the tournament will be made before an end of March deadline to submit a bid for the tournament.

A Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media statement outlined what the Government spent on the World Cup 2030 scoping exercise, while saying that the information gleaned there will be useful for a possible 2028 bid.

It said: “Over the course of 2019-2022, as part of our partnership with [the] UK government and devolved authorities and in line with our share of the proposed tournament, it is estimated that the department will in total have contributed approximately €155,000 to support three separate studies as part of the feasibility exercise for [the] 2030 [World Cup], one of which is still ongoing.”

It added: “The information in these studies will be in large part transferable to any potential bid to host Euro 2028.”


The department also said that Minister for Sport Catherine Martin and Mr Chambers "acknowledge the conclusion of the five FAs [football associations] that a bid for the Fifa World Cup 2030 would likely be unsuccessful at this time".

It added that the Government is “well aware of the significance and scale of the [European Championships] tournament and what a positive experience it could be to jointly host it in 2028.

“To move forward, the Ministers and the Government will need to have a clearer understanding of the costs and benefits of hosting the event before making any decision to support a bid.”

The department was said to be “engaging closely” with the FAI and other FAs and governments on this.

Late last year the Government had advertised for a “suitably qualified candidate” to lead Irish efforts on a potential 2030 World Cup bid as the proposal was being assessed.

The department said on Monday: “The Fifa 2030 Bid Board will not now be constituted so there will be no nominee by the Irish Government.

“The governance of any potential bid for Euro 2028 has not yet been scoped out at this stage.”

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times