Scotland confirmed as Euro 2028 co-hosts as SFA chief executive reveals ‘changes will be made’ to Hampden Park

The national stadium will play host to European Championship finals games - but Scotland’s qualification isn’t guaranteed.
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Scotland have been officially confirmed as joint co-hosts for the 2028 European Championship finals after UEFA confirmed the successful UK and Ireland bid.

The home nations were left as the sole bidder for the multi-nation tournament in five years’ time after Turkey withdrew their offer to focus their efforts on hosting the 2032 edition along with Italy. And the European governing body formally approved the proposal after a meeting of its executive committee in Switzerland on Tuesday.

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Hampden Park will be used as one of the venues for the time since 2021 when the delayed Euro 2020 tournament was played a year late due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is guaranteed to host one of the four quarter-final ties alongside grounds in England, Wales, Republic of Ireland and Northern ireland.

However, Steve Clarke’s Scotland side will NOT qualify automatically for the finals given the number of nations involved in hosting matches, with UEFA understood to be reserving two automatic qualifcation places for any of the five countries who fail to make it on merit.

However, if more than two host nations fail to qualify, it is believed that only the best two to miss out will be given those spots.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell has confirmed Hampden will undergo improvements to be ready for the tournament. He said: “As a Scottish Football Association, we want to see games played at the national stadium, that’s the only fitting place to hold such a prestigious event.

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“There will be changes made to the stadium in terms of preparation for Euro 2028. We need to be realisitic about what those are, they will be tweaks and upgrades rather than anything substantial. It’s important we use the income and the interest these games will generate to help the game across the country for future generations.”

The majority of matches will be played in England with Wembley (expected to host the final) and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, St James’ Park in Newcastle, Villa Park in Birmingham and Everton’s new home at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool all selected back in April.

A redeveloped Casement Park in Belfast, the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and the Principality Stadium in Cardiff make up the remaining list of venues.

Councillors agreed £7.5m in funding to the deliver the tournament to Glasgow and First Minister Humza Yousaf welcomed the announcement, commenting: “Football is Scotland’s national game and a powerful force for good in communities right across the country. It is this combination which underpinned the Scottish Government’s support for the successful joint bid.

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“Hosting the Euros in Scotland will provide a range of opportunities, not only through the economic benefits of visiting fans but through a strong legacy programme that will help grow a more inclusive and diverse game right across the country.

“The legacy vision of ‘Football for All, Football for Good and Football for the Future’ captures the positive impact football has in our communities.

“Scotland has proven experience in hosting major events and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Scottish FA, Glasgow Life, and all other bid partners to deliver a welcoming, exciting and safe EURO 2028.”

A joint statement from the five football associations thanked UEFA for “its confidence” to award the tournament, with Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer adding: “I’m thrilled we’ve secured UEFA EURO 2028. It will be the biggest sporting event ever jointly hosted in the UK and Ireland.

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“We will put on a brilliant tournament with fans at its heart. We will warmly welcome fans from across Europe to our islands’ shores and give people memories that will last a lifetime. On top of that, the tournament is expected to deliver up to £2.6 billion of socio-economic benefit across the host nations, creating jobs and opportunities.”

Scotland have qualfied for three previous European Championships, but haven’t played a game outside the UK in the tournament since 1992 when it was held in Sweden. Under the guidance of Craig Brown, the Scots reached the 1996 competition (held in England) and played two of their three group games during Euro 2020 at Hampden and one at Wembley.

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