10 October 2023
~4 minutes read
Football Association of Ireland welcomes award of UEFA EURO 2028 hosting rights
World’s Third largest sporting event to boost Irish football and Irish economy
Proposed that Dublin Arena host six games including Round of 16 and Quarter-Final
Irish football to benefit from €6.2m Legacy Fund
Tournament to act as a catalyst for future facility investment
UEFA EURO 2028 Ireland & UK to inspire a future generation of young players
The Football Association of Ireland welcomes today’s decision by UEFA to award the UEFA EURO 2028 tournament to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.
FAI President Gerry McAnaney, Chief Executive Office Jonathan Hill, Chief Operations Officer David Courell and Ireland Football Youth Ambassador Ade Solanke were in Nyon, Switzerland, when UEFA’s ExCo awarded the 2028 European Championship finals to the joint five-nation bid.
Shamrock Rovers and Ireland underage international Solanke said: “It has been such an incredible experience to represent Irish football at this event in Switzerland. Knowing that Ireland will be hosting the Euro finals in five years’ time will inspire all young players like me to train harder, looking to 2028 when these games come to Dublin.”
FAI President McAnaney added: “This is a flagship day for our game in Ireland. Just over two years after the COVID-19 pandemic saw the UEFA EURO 2020 fixtures moved from Dublin, we are looking forward to the tournament coming here in 2028 when it is proposed that the Dublin Arena will host six games, including a Round of 16 fixture and a Quarter-Final tie.
“I want to thank our partners in the Government of Ireland, Dublin City Council and the Aviva Stadium along with our own FAI staff, all of whom have worked so hard to secure this tournament. Together we look forward to welcoming Europe to Ireland in 2028 and the games that will inspire Irish boys and girls as they witness history on their doorstep.”
Expanding on the financial benefits that will follow this announcement, with a €6.2m Legacy Fund share for Ireland guaranteed from the €51m joint fund, FAI CEO Jonathan Hill spoke of the positives across Irish football to come from the UEFA EURO 2028 Ireland & UK tournament.
FAI CEO Hill stated: “On foot of this positive news for Irish football, we will now push hard to use this to drive investment into all areas of Irish football, be it Grassroots, LOI or international football. It’s a good start that the five-nation partnership, and the governments behind them, have committed to investing a minimum of €51 million into UEFA EURO 2028 legacy initiatives with €6.2 million of this ringfenced for Ireland. This money will allow us to build a framework to invest in facilities and wider initiatives.
“Our FAI Strategy 2022-2025 clearly identifies qualification for major tournaments as one of our core pillars as we all know the effect a tournament can have on participation levels within our game. We also know that qualification for any major tournament can realise anything between €10-€15 million of increased revenue via participation and commercial bonus payments so hosting these six proposed games is a solid starting point for both our sporting and financial ambitions for 2028 and beyond.
“Earlier this year we outlined the €863m facility challenge facing the game at all levels in Ireland over the next 15 years. We believe hosting UEFA EURO 2028 can be a significant catalyst in our discussions with Government as well as with other football and private investors in converting that long-term Facility Vision into reality.”
Following the confirmation that the third biggest sporting event in the world will be jointly hosted by Ireland, FAI COO David Courell outlined some of the direct benefits that will now accrue for Irish football.
FAI COO Courell said: “This decision is a very positive one for the Association and the return on investment for the FAI and our football community has always been at the core of this now successful bid.
“As an Association there is a material financial return from a relatively small outlay. We stand to receive hosting fees for the use of the Dublin Arena and we will also benefit from a delivery bonus which will be shared amongst the five host Associations. Both of these payments will result in a multi-million euro boost to the FAI in 2028, a peak year in our debt repayment plan.”
The FAI now looks forward to collaborating with UEFA, the Government of Ireland, Dublin City Council, the Aviva Stadium and all our host partners as we continue to plan towards the delivery of a successful UEFA EURO 2028 Ireland & UK.