Russia and Turkey surprisingly submitted their bid for hosting EURO 2028 and 2032 just on the verge of the deadline closure this week. Their submission definitely stuns UEFA, especially the former.
Russia football has been banned due to their ongoing invasion to Ukraine since late February. Thus, their decision to join the bidding to challenge UK/Ireland as the host of EURO 2028 has puzzled the public. According to Article 11.01 of UEFA bid regulations, what RFU (Russian Football Union) did is unacceptable since only non suspended members could bid to host any official European tournaments. No wonder that the additional suspension looms the Russians, should they go on with their proposal.
However, RFU seems to have different perspective. RFU board member, Sergei Anokhin stated that they were moving forward with it since they believed that ‘no suspension of Russian Football Union was imposed at that time.’ Their bid, despite having been announced, will not be automatically confirmed. It will have to go through the reassessment by UEFA Executive Committee in their scheduled meetings on April 7 and May 10.
Meanwhile, Turkey, who was tipped not to submit their bid for the 2028 edition due to their constant bidding loss since EURO 2004, does not seemingly stop them from carrying on declaring their interest for either the 2028 or 2032 edition. It is believed that instead of the former, they might be opting of the latter to face off Italy which has already announced their plan.
The host of EURO 2028 was about to be revealed in two weeks’ time, should one candidate remain in the race, which UEFA prefers. UK/Ireland has been considered as the favourite as they have agreed to switch their campaign from World Cup 2030 to EURO 2028. They are the ideal one to host the possibly expanded European championship with 32 teams.
Nevertheless, Russia and Turkey’s hosting proposal will definitely force European football governing body to go through the long and tiring process from entire bidding procedure plus getting the vote from the executive committee. Such stage itself is likely to take more than a year before the official announcement in September 2023.
Russia has the experience of hosting World Cup 2018 and some matches in EURO 2020, which was proven to be successful, whereas Turkey has none in hosting a major tournament at the senior level. Their most notable competition to host was World Cup U20 in 0213. While Russian’ bid seems rather absurd, at least for today, the Turkish one shall be considered a serious rival by UK/Ireland or Italy later.