Belfast is set to be a host city for UEFA Euro 2028 after the UK and Ireland today won the right to stage the tournament.
Bringing one of the world’s biggest sporting events to Northern Ireland, and delivering impactful and lasting sporting, cultural and economic benefits, Belfast's Casement Park is to be one of 10 host stadia across the UK and Ireland.
The news follows the pioneering joint bid to host UEFA Euro 2028 submitted by the Irish Football Association, the Football Association of Ireland, the Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales and the Football Association being accepted by UEFA following a bid presentation at its headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson said: “The Irish Football Association is delighted to be part of the successful bid to host UEFA Euro 2028 alongside our counterparts across the UK and Ireland.
“Together our vision is to stage the greatest ever UEFA Euro tournament, an event that unites and inspires everyone – delivering football for all, football for good, football for the future.
“We will make fans very welcome here in Northern Ireland and our role in this tournament will remind the world what a great city Belfast is."
Irish FA President Conrad Kirkwood said: "'This bid is a game changer for football on our islands.
"We have worked hard with our fellow home nations, and the Republic of Ireland, to reach this point and this spirit of collaboration will continue as this exciting project continues to develop."
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy, said: “I am hugely proud that Belfast will take its place alongside other iconic host cities across these islands to welcome fans from Europe and beyond for UEFA Euro 2028.
“The inclusion of Belfast in the successful UK and Ireland bid to host UEFA Euro 2028 is testament to our city’s rich and diverse tourism and culture offering, coupled with our proven expertise and track record of success in hosting world class major events. I know we will deliver a fantastic visitor experience, creating lifelong memories, and I am excited at what the future holds for our wonderful city.”
Ulster GAA CEO Brian McAvoy said: “The GAA prides itself in delivering for society and the inclusion of Casement Park in this successful UEFA Euro 2028 bid is recognition of the major role we play in enriching the lives of our communities. It is also testament to the partnership that has developed with the Irish Football Association.
“Casement Park hosting top level international soccer matches as part of UEFA Euro 2028 will be a compelling symbol of the power that sport has to unite people from every generation and background.
“As has happened with other GAA venues on the island in staging games from other codes, we will play our full part in helping to deliver a truly groundbreaking and inclusive tournament for the benefit of everyone.”
Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Jayne Brady added: “I am delighted that Northern Ireland is set to be a host nation for UEFA Euro 2028. This has been made possible by a co-operative approach between government partners in the Northern Ireland Civil Service, UK Government and Belfast City Council, alongside sporting partners in the Irish Football Association and the GAA, working with their counterparts across all the jurisdictions of the UK and Ireland.
“This innovative approach shows what can be achieved and these close working relationships will only be further strengthened in the coming years. I am proud that civil servants from a range of government departments will be actively involved in delivering an event that will bring so many tangible economic, social and cultural benefits to Northern Ireland.”
Image: Celebrating the Euro 2028 announcement are: (back, from left) Ulster GAA CEO Brian McEvoy, Lord Mayor of Belfast Cllr Ryan Murphy, Head of Northern Ireland Civil Service Jayne Brady, Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson; (front, from left) Irish FA Disability Officer and Powerchair Football player Jason Browning and Irish FA Foundation participant Erin Preston.