The UK and Ireland look set to be named joint hosts of Euro 2028 with no other bids lodged ahead of tomorrow’s deadline.
Reports in the UK suggest UEFA will formally appoint Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as hosts early next month.
UEFA’s formal decision will be announced on April 7th, when the governing body will also set an end-of-year deadline for all necessary Government guarantees to be lodged.
Cabinet is today expected to formally give its support to the bid, with Sports Minister Catherine Martin and Junior Sports Minister Jack Chambers asking colleagues to issue a letter of support to the FAI.
While it is still not clear how many matches Ireland would host, ministers will be told the tournament could bring 150,000 people to Ireland.
Irish football legend Ray Houghton told Newstalk it would be a great boost for the country.
“It would be great for the young kids and their development and also for the Irish public, to showcase the country – the hotels, the restaurants and the pubs that have had such a tough time recently,” he said.
“In six years’ time there could be vast amounts of people coming into the country and hopefully, they will be spending money and enjoying what Ireland can provide.”
He warned that it’s still too early to celebrate – with the potential for a last-minute bid to enter the race.
“We have seen many times haven’t we when future world cups were to be announced and various nations thought they had the go-ahead for it and then, at the last moment, it wasn’t to be the case,” he said.
“I think it is like anything. You just wait and see what happens. Get the bid right, make sure everyone is saying the right things and put it to the body.”
Government will likely be expected to provide funding for venues, transport, security and fan zones throughout the tournament.
Russia had previously expressed interest in hosting; however, that bid was ended by UEFA due to the war in Ukraine.
Turkey was also in the hat but has since ended its interest.