UEFA has unveiled the bidding process for Euro 2028, the tournament that would fall in the same year as the first biennial FIFA World Cup if those plans come to fruition.
The proposals for a World Cup every two years have been strongly opposed by UEFA, as well as the majority of European leagues including the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s global development manager, has suggested that the first biennial Men’s World Cup could take place in 2028, putting football’s global governing body on a potential collision course with UEFA, which invited the countries to apply to host the European Championships that year.
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UEFA has said 24 teams will take part in the 2028 tournament, although that could still be increased to 32.
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Joint bids which are “geographically compact” have been welcomed by UEFA, but automatic qualification will only apply to a maximum of two teams, in case more than one association seeks to share accommodation.
Interested parties must have 10 stadiums, with at least one with a capacity of at least 60,000.
The application calendar provides that national associations have a deadline of March 23, 2022 to confirm their interest. The candidates will then be unveiled by UEFA on April 5, and they will then have one year to submit their final bid ahead of the hosts’ announcement in September 2023.
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The process describes UEFA’s firm intentions to host the competition despite FIFA’s plans, which UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said “would kill football”.
“I think that will never happen because it is so contrary to the basic principles of football. To play a month-long tournament every summer, for the players it is a killer.
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