Boris Johnson hits out at Russia’s rival bid to beat the UK and Ireland to host Euro 2028, as the Prime Minister insists it is ‘beyond satire’ that they would be awarded the tournament after their invasion of Ukraine
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson has blasted Russia’s attempts to host Euro 2028
- He said it was ‘beyond satire’ that the country would be granted a tournament
- Russia declared interest for 2028 and 2032 despite their ban from football
- But they are set to be suspended from UEFA to prevent them hosting any Euros
Russia’s attempts to bid for Euro 2028 have been blasted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who claims it is ‘beyond satire’ and ‘bonkers’ that the banned football nation would be allowed to host a tournament.
The country’s invasion of Ukraine has seen their football team be cast aside by the world of sport – with FIFA kicking them out of the upcoming World Cup in Qatar and Sportsmail reported that UEFA are set to suspend them after their bold attempt to bid for the 2028 and 2032 editions of the Euros.
The UK and Ireland were seen as the frontrunners to host Euro 2028 and were initially set to launch an unchallenged bid before Turkey and Russia both announced their intention to run.
And Johnson – who has been setting out a number of crippling sanctions on Russia following their decision to enter Ukraine – was left baffled by Russia’s bid and said it was ‘beyond comprehension’ that they would be awarded any competition.
‘I think it beyond satire that any any football organisation – no matter how bonkers and driven by lucre they may be – would want to give Russia in the present circumstances the right to host a tournament .
‘It simply seems beyond comprehension. So I can’t believe it’s really a runner.’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hit out at Russia for their attempts to host Euro 2028
Russia’s football union are ‘supporting’ a decision to battle the UK and Ireland for the right to host the tournament in 2028
It came after he gave his full backing to the UK and Ireland bid – which has now been submitted – saying Britain’s ‘world-class stadiums’ mean it is the ideal host.
‘The UK & Ireland bid for the UEFA Euro 2028 has this government’s full backing.
‘Our world-class stadiums and passionate fans stand ready to host one of the world’s greatest sporting events. Let’s bring football home.’
UEFA had been keen to appoint the hosts without a contest before Russia and Turkey submitted 11th-hour bids, and said it would convene to discuss the situation after the former’s ‘political move’.
But UEFA are ready to suspend Russia as they seek to host the European Championship
Asked if Russia would be allowed to bid for the Euros, a UEFA spokesperson said: ‘The UEFA Executive Committee will remain on standby to convene further extraordinary meetings to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary.’
The five associations leading the UK and Ireland bid – England, Wales, Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland- submitted a formal expression of interest to UEFA on Wednesday.
A joint statement from the five associations read: ‘With this unique partnership, we are taking the appropriate next steps and our ambition is to stage a successful UEFA Euro which will be a wonderful celebration of football for fans and teams.
‘We believe Euro 2028 would be one of the greatest sporting events ever held in the UK and Ireland.
The UK and Ireland are still currently the leading favourites to stage Euro 2028
‘This unprecedented partnership of five associations offers something special to European football, including the potential for an expanded tournament, and we are passionate about maximising the sustainability and legacy benefits for communities across the UK and Ireland.
‘Over the coming months, we will develop our proposals further, subject to the publication by UEFA of the full technical specification. This includes engaging in discussions with possible host cities and stadia to define the optimum tournament model and conducting a full costs and benefits analysis.
‘The UK and Ireland will offer an unrivalled tournament from a technical perspective – with modern, well-connected stadia and excellent infrastructure – that makes our partnership ideal to host Euro 2028.’