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Major Euro 2028 change with co-host set to DROP OUT and allow Wembley to host at least one more match

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NORTHERN IRELAND is reportedly set to DROP OUT as co-hosts of Euro 2028 due to the financial constraints of redeveloping Casement Park.

If that happens Wembley – who will host both the semi-final and final – may be handed the opportunity to host at least one more match.

Northern Ireland are likely to drop out of Euro 2028 hosting duties

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Northern Ireland are likely to drop out of Euro 2028 hosting duties
As the the redevelopment of Casement Park is expected to cost around £308m

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As the the redevelopment of Casement Park is expected to cost around £308m
If Northern Ireland do drop out Wembley will put on one extra game at Euro 2028

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If Northern Ireland do drop out Wembley will put on one extra game at Euro 2028Credit: AFP

Likewise, the four matches that Belfast is due to host will be spread among Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, Hampden Park in Glasgow and Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

Uefa expects Northern Ireland to withdraw from hosting duties because of problems over raising the money to redevelop their stadium.

Casement Park is yet to the fully funded with the latest estimated costs sitting at £308m.

There have been plans to build a modern 34,000 capacity stadium on the site for more than 10 years.

But political instability, issues behind the scenes and planning permission U-turns combined to keep the bulldozers away.

A former senior Uefa strategist believes Belfast and the rest of the north will miss out on a huge opportunity, both financially and political, with the likely loss of Euro 2028.

Ian Mallon told an Irish news outlet: “It is so unique for any city to be considered as a host venue for such a major tournament.

“The mix of support, disinterest, and outright opposition to the use of Casement Park is completely irrational and ridiculous.”

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Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris has pledged £62.5m, with the Irish government promising £42.8m and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) offering £15m.

The UK government is allegedly prepared to contribute, but it is yet to give an exact figure.

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How the home nations and Ireland could qualify for Uefa 2028

England and the other host nations will still have to play qualifying matches for Euro 2028.

Uefa will only award a maximum of two automatic qualification spots and it will hold these in reserve for any host nation that fails to make it. 

If three fail to qualify, the two best-ranked teams will take the reserve spots.

Uefa is set to award Cardiff the opening match of the European Championship in 2028 in a blow to hopes in England that Wembley would host the tournament’s curtain-raiser.



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Major Euro 2028 change with co-host set to DROP OUT and allow Wembley to host at least one more match

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