UEFA has confirmed that it has received a declaration of interest from Russia to host the EURO 2028 competition despite the country’s international bans throughout sports.
Turkey and Italy have also claimed they want to hold either the 2028 or 2032 edition of UEFA’s flagship national team competition, as the countries now rival the UK and Republic of Ireland’s joint bid made earlier this week.
In line with the deadline of 23 March, the four bidders have now been declared and the appointment of host(s) of UEFA EURO 2028 and UEFA EURO 2032 is set to be made in September 2023.
However, it has also been reported that, due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Russia had been warned off bidding as a host, but subsequently continued to do so.
The UK and Ireland’s bid had been expected to comfortably win the rights before involvement from Russia, Turkey and Italy. Russia is also declaring an interest in hosting the event in 2032.
Although Russian teams, at both national and club level, are banned from participation in UEFA and FIFA competitions, the Russian Football Union (RFS) is not the subject of any suspension and is still an active member of both of the governing bodies.
UEFA has stated that it is looking to confirm the identities of countries involved in the full bidding process on 5 April, as the declaration of interest is the first step in a year-long bidding process.
The international organisation confirmed in a release: “The UEFA Executive Committee will however remain on standby to convene further extraordinary meetings, on a regular ongoing basis where required, to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary, including in light of the declaration of interest expressed by the Russian Football Union for hosting the Uefa Euro.”
The RFS’s request for the country’s teams and clubs to stay in UEFA competitions was last week denied by the Court of Arbitration For Sport (CAS).
For the duration of the CAS proceedings, the execution of the UEFA Executive Committee’s decision remains in force and all Russian sports clubs continue to be suspended from participation.
Initially, FIFA stated that Russia would be able to continue to compete under the name of ‘Football Union or Russia’, but without its flag or anthem. However, the governing body then announced, along with UEFA, that such teams are to be banned from all tournaments.