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Euro 2028: Hosts, venues, format and everything else you need to know about the tournament

Euro 2028
(Image credit: PA)

Euro 2028 may still be a few years away yet – but it will be here before you know it. Jude Bellingham will still only be 25 when the tournament kicks off, for example. 

With Euro 2020 still fresh in the memories of football fans, planning begins for the next couple of tournaments. Germany will host the 2024 edition of the competition, with the 2028 edition marking the 18th since the inception of the European Championship all the way back in 1960. 

We've got two whole World Cups to look forward to first – but Euro 2028 is shaping up to be a cracker…

Who will host Euro 2028?

Millennium Stadium

(Image credit: PA)

It's coming home. The home nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – plus the Republic of Ireland – are the last candidates standing to host the tournament.

The UK and Ireland's bid to hold the Euros has reportedly been backed by UEFA who want a guarantee of filling the venues for smaller games – something that would certainly happen with the games being played here. 

Italy is expected to bid for Euro 2032 instead, with a potential Russian bid now impossible following the invasion of Ukraine.

Which venues will host games at Euro 2028?

Manchester United Old Trafford

(Image credit: PA)

Wembley is expected to host the final. Hampden Park and the Principality Stadium would both be expected to be used along the Aviva Stadium and Windsor Park.

It's wholly possible that no other London ground could feature, with 2018's bid for the World Cup only considering Wembley as a venue. This is despite the Emirates Stadium, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the London Stadium all being three of the biggest grounds in the country. 

Old Trafford, Anfield and St. James's Park are all likely to feature of grounds of 50,000 seated capacity or more. Villa Park, Hillsborough, Elland Road and the City Ground all hosted games at Euro 96 and could be in line to host more this time around, while St Mary's, the Amex, Stadium MK and the Brentford Community Stadium are all set to host matches during the Women's Euros this summer. 

Murrayfield, Cardiff City Stadium, Stadium, Celtic Park and Ibrox might be in the frame to host matches, too. 

How many teams will take part in Euro 2028?

It's possible that 2028 would be the first Euros to feature 32 teams. With five spots in the tournament taken by hosts, UEFA may want to expand the format.

Since 2016, the European Championship has been increased from 16 teams to 24. This has been hugely popular with UEFA as they can get more federations involved with the tournament. 

The UK and Ireland have the infrastructure in place to host a World Cup, however, let alone a Euros – and with the World Cup rising to 48 teams from the 2026 edition onwards, Euro 2028 would still be a smaller tournament. 

When does qualifying for Euro 2028 begin?

Qualification for Euro 2028 is likely to start after the 2026 World Cup.

Qualifiers for the World Cup later this year are still ongoing, with Euro 2024 qualification to begin next season.

50 nations will be competing for the tournament if the UK and Ireland host, given that there are 55 UEFA nations in total. That means that qualification will most likely be 10 groups of five nations or five groups of 10, with automatic places awarded within groups and the best teams statistically qualifying to make up the numbers to 27 qualified nations. 

Does the UK and Ireland hosting Euro 2028 affect the 2030 World Cup bid?

FIFA World Cup trophy

(Image credit: Getty)

On 7 February 2022, it was announced that the UK and Ireland's 2030 bid to host the World Cup would be abandoned, with the nations instead focusing on a bid to host Euro 2028. 

The 2030 World Cup will be the centenary edition of the tournament, with four confirmed bids so far from Spain and Portugal; Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Chile; Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia; and Morocco – who were beaten by the USA, Canada and Mexico to the 2026 tournament.

Other potential bids have been rumoured from South Korea (in association with North Korea, Japan China or all three); Australia and Indonesia; China; Cameroon; Egypt; Colombia, Ecuador and Peru; Saudi Arabia (in association with Italy or Egypt and Morocco); and Israel, UAE and Bahrain. 

Will UEFA be put off from giving the UK and Ireland Euro 2028 after crowd trouble at Euro 2020?

Despite trouble at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley – in which spectators broke into the ground during the game and flouted COVID-19 regulations – UEFA apparently trust the UK and Ireland to host another tournament. 

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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. Over his time on the brand, he has interviewed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere, written pieces ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career, and has been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals, working for FFT