Despite the war against Ukraine: Russia wants to host the 2028 European Football Championship

After the attack on Ukraine, football reacted quickly.

Despite the war against Ukraine: Russia wants to host the 2028 European Football Championship

After the attack on Ukraine, football reacted quickly. UEFA and FIFA ban Russian teams from all competitions. But the association is not suspended and is now signaling an interest in hosting the EM 2028 or 2032.

Despite tough sanctions for the war of aggression against Ukraine, the almost completely isolated Russia wants to host the European Football Championship in 2028 or 2032. A corresponding declaration of intent had been made, said the Russian association head Alexander Dyukov on Wednesday, according to the state news agency Tass. The association now has until April 12, 2023 to prepare the application. Russia has experience in hosting major tournaments, Dyukov said. The country hosted the World Cup in 2018, in 2021 several matches of the European Championship were held in the metropolitan city of St. Petersburg.

Russia's bid is untimely and has no chance of success in the foreseeable future. Russian teams and athletes were suspended from their sports federations following the February 24 military attack on Ukraine. The Russian national football team has just been banned from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"The situation is very dynamic. Right now there is a negative trend, but it can also change again," Dyukov told the British "Telegraph": "We know that our chances are smaller now. But if there is a chance we should try. It's never too late to get out." David Bernstein, a former chairman of the English Football Association FA, questioned in the "Telegraph" the Russian bid, which was "so strange" that "one wonders if there is anything else behind it".

Great Britain and Ireland are the favorites to host the tournament in six years' time. The football associations submitted a joint application for the European Championship on Wednesday, the last day of the application period. The European football union UEFA wants to announce the possible candidates at the beginning of April.

The tournament is to be awarded together with the 2032 finals. Italy is being discussed as a host. Meanwhile, Turkey is also applying for the major event in 2028, as the national football association announced on Wednesday. According to UEFA, there were no further notifications by the application deadline at 6 p.m. CET - the list of candidates is now complete.

"We believe that Euro 2028 will be one of the biggest sporting events the UK and Ireland have ever hosted," said a joint British and Irish statement. "This unprecedented partnership of five associations offers something special to European football, including the potential for an expanded tournament." The EM 2028 may be held for the first time with 32 instead of the previous 24 teams.

In February, the associations of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland announced that they would not bid for the 2030 World Cup. Last year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke euphorically of plans for the World Cup. However, after the failed English World Cup applications for 2006 and 2018, he received sharp criticism.