Prime Minister Boris Johnson has bizarrely appeared to back Ukraine hosting Euro 2028 despite the UK and Ireland submitting a joint bid to host the tournament last week. Johnson’s comments came after Russia expressed an interest in staging the European Championship despite Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s football team is banned from European competition, with its club sides expelled from the Champions League and the Europa League. But that has not stopped the Russian FA suggesting it wants to rival the UK and Ireland in a bid to host Euro 2028.
A joint bid expression of interest by the English, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and Republic of Ireland Football Associations this week was submitted to UEFA this week. A statement read: “The governments of the UK, Ireland, Scotland and Wales have confirmed their support for the expression of interest submission and, given the Northern Ireland Executive is currently not meeting formally, officials there continue to observe the process closely.
“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.”
However, Johnson appears to have forgotten about this bid. Insisting that Russian troops should withdrawn from Ukraine, Johnson went on to suggest that UEFA should allow Ukraine to host the tournament.
Asked by an interview in a Sky News interview if Ukraine should instead host the tournament, the PM said: “Look, I think that the idea of Russia hosting any kind of football tournament or any kind of cultural event is beyond satire. I can’t think that anybody would seriously consider their suggestion.
“Of course, I think that the best thing possible would be for the entire Russian armed forces to retire forthwith from Ukraine and hand the tournament to them.”
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