The Russian Football Union have submitted surprise bids to host the Euro 2028 or 2032 tournaments despite being banned indefinitely from football by FIFA and UEFA.
Germany will be hosting the 2024 edition of the tournament and bids for the subsequent ones are being considered by UEFA. Russia, in a bold move, put their name forward as a potential host for the continental showpiece.
Sergey Anokhin, a member of the executive committee of the RFU, said Russia would like to challenge the other bidders due to their history of hosting successful sporting tournaments in the past, including the last World Cup.
The other bidders for the next tournaments after Germany 2024 are the United Kingdom and Ireland (a joint bid), Turkey and a joint bid from Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia.
Italy is the chief bidder for the 2032 edition, and Russia has also submitted a counter bid for the rights to host that edition.
UEFA confirmed later on Wednesday that Russia submitted a bid, while also noting that there are no regulations to prevent the RFU from bidding despite their ban from football due to their president’s invasion of Ukraine.
“The Bureau of the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee decided on 28 February to suspend all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice. However, no suspension of the Football Union of Russia was imposed at that time,” a UEFA statement confirming Russia’s bid reads.
“The UEFA Executive Committee will nevertheless remain on standby to convene further extraordinary meetings, on a regular ongoing basis where required – in addition to its already-scheduled meetings of 7 April and 10 May – to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary, including in light of the declaration of interest expressed by the Football Union of Russia for hosting the UEFA EURO.”
UEFA will provide the tournament requirements to bidders next Wednesday and then confirm their candidacies on April 5. The deadline to submit final bids is April 23, and the hosts will be announced in September 2023.
Rustem Saymanov, a member of the RFU executive committee, confirmed this news, while stating that life goes on despite the ban imposed on them by the world and continental football governing bodies.
“The RFU is going to apply for the European Championships in 2028 and 2032, this is not a joke, yes. Life goes on with us, we are open and ready, we should not be closed to UEFA and FIFA,” said Saymanov.
“We have held many competitions at a high level. Let’s go, I admit that there is a lot of time, the situation will change, we will study everything.”