Russia is launching a bid to host the 2028 European Championship in a challenge to the British Isles entry or against Italy for the 2032 edition, despite its teams being suspended from international competitions over the war in Ukraine.
A meeting of the Russian Football Union (RFU) executive committee decided on Wednesday to “support the decision to declare interest” in the 2028 and 2032 tournaments, the organisation said in a statement ahead of the deadline for expressions of interest to be submitted to UEFA.
It was unclear when the bid would be submitted or if the country would specify if it preferred to host in 2028 or 2032.
“We are going to file a bid for hosting of the 2028 and 2032 European Championships,” RFU board member Sergei Anokhin said on broadcaster Match TV.
Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup and the venue for the final — Luzhniki Stadium — was used last week for a rally supporting President Vladimir Putin.
“We are sending the declaration today,” Dyukov said. “We assume that Russia is already prepared to to host large-scale competitions. We have the experience.”
Russia’s unlikely plan is sure to face fierce opposition. Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic had independently announced they would refuse to play Russia in World Cup qualifying even on neutral territory — ahead of FIFA’s decision to suspend Russia.
UEFA will provide the tournament requirements to bidders next Wednesday and then confirm their candidacies on April 5. The deadline to submit final bid dossiers is not until April 2023, with a decision by the UEFA executive committee in September 2023.
“We reserve the right to enter a bid,” Dyukov said. “This option doesn’t cost anything. And you can’t refuse it, if it isn’t expensive.”
The British Isles bid is being led by England and also features Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.