Following the successful hosting of the Ryder Cup and the Champions League final, Wales is poised to receive confirmation as co-hosts of another prestigious sports event later today.
The UK and Ireland’s joint bid to host the 2028 European Championship in football is expected to receive official approval at a UEFA meeting in Switzerland.
Wales is optimistic about hosting the tournament’s opener and five additional matches in Cardiff. This would mark another high-profile sporting event at the Principality Stadium, following the FA Cup and Rugby World Cup finals.
However, the question remains: how will this impact football supporters?
Welsh football enthusiasts who anticipate that the hosting of Euro 2028 by the UK and Ireland will lead to automatic qualification for the host nations might be surprised. Typically, host nations of major tournaments like the Euros are granted automatic qualification, but this won’t be the case.
With five countries vying to host Euro 2028, there are simply too many contenders for UEFA to grant automatic qualification spots. The five host nations will have to vie for a qualification spot, ensuring that at least two will secure participation.
Hence, the only foolproof way for fans to witness Wales in action at a major tournament on home turf will be for the team to earn their spot through qualification, which supporters are hoping will mark their fourth consecutive appearance in the Euros.
The only definite aspect is that Cardiff will indeed serve as a host city, although the precise number of matches has yet to be determined. There is an aspiration for the Principality Stadium, with its 74,000-person capacity, to host six games.
The venue, which previously hosted the opening event of the 2012 London Olympics, is being considered by the Welsh FA to not only stage the opening match of Euro 2028 but also matches during the knockout stages.
Gareth Bale, the former captain of the Welsh national team, is currently in Switzerland as a member of the UK and Ireland delegation.
While the Principality Stadium, which serves as the home for Wales’ national rugby union team, has been selected as a host venue for Euro 2028 matches, it’s worth noting that the Welsh national football team hasn’t played there since their loss to Spain in 2018.