First Minister welcomes UEFA EURO 2028 decision.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has welcomed today’s news that Wales will host matches at the finals of a major senior international football tournament for the first time.
In a ceremony in Switzerland today, UEFA announced that the UK and Ireland’s bid to host the 2028 UEFA European Championships has been successful.
Wales has previously hosted major sporting events, including the UEFA Champions League Final in 2017, boxing, the London 2012 Olympics and the Rugby World Cup final. EURO 2028 will be the first time matches in the finals of a major senior men’s international football tournament are played in Wales.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“Wales has built a strong global reputation for successfully hosting major sporting events, while reaching the finals of three major men’s football tournaments since 2016.
“Football is at the heart of our sporting ambitions – whether that’s hosting the Champions League Final in 2017 or proudly sending Wales to its first FIFA World Cup finals for more than 60 years. We’re also providing unprecedented support for the women’s game and investing in grassroots and youth football across Wales.
“Today’s news is the next exciting opportunity for us to showcase what Wales has to offer. We have a strong track record of working in partnership with key partners, including Cardiff Council and the stadium, to host the events, which fans from all over Wales can enjoy.
“Securing EURO 2028 is another milestone for Welsh sport and I’m confident the UK and Ireland will host the best UEFA EURO ever.”
Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden, said: “We look forward to working with the FAW, the stadium and our UK and Ireland nation partners to deliver a passionate and unforgettable celebration, which will be safe, welcoming and well-organised. The 2028 UEFA European Championships will be a spectacular and sustainable football festival – for the players, for the fans and the entire UEFA Family.
“The economic benefits of hosting such a high-profile event will be significant – and will also provide us with an excellent platform upon which to raise Wales’ profile on the world stage aligning us with a genuine global brand. The opportunities which we had as part of the World Cup last year gave us a platform upon which to deliver an award-winning promotional campaign for Wales.
“This inspirational opportunity will also be used to encourage participation, particularly amongst women, as well as using football to promote and support initiatives to address social inclusion – which will form a lasting legacy for the2028 UEFA European Championships.”
The Principality Stadium, will be known as the National Stadium of Wales for the purposes of this tournament.
“This is an historic day for Wales and Welsh sport.” said interim WRU Group CEO, Nigel Walker.
“We look forward with immense excitement to playing our part to deliver an excellent UEFA EUROS 2028, working alongside our partners at Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, the Football Association of Wales along with the rest of the UK and Ireland.
“We have hosted hugely significant global football events at our stadium before, from Welsh international matches to FA Cup Finals, Olympic Games matches and the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final. We offer a magnificent spectator experience, a playing surface fit for the finest talent around the globe and a fully retractable roof all situated in a hugely attractive city centre location with all the benefits the Cardiff capital provides.
“We already know the hugely positive impact hosting major sporting events at the stadium has on Cardiff and the surrounding region. UEFA EURO 2028 will be no different, and we will be ready to welcome football fans from all corners of the world for one of the biggest sporting spectacles in the world.”
Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: “This is wonderful news for Cardiff and for Wales and we can’t wait to welcome fans - many who will be coming here for the first time. It’s another fantastic opportunity to remind the world just how special Cardiff is when it comes to hosting major events. Visitors can expect a unique atmosphere, a warm and welcoming city, and a passionate populace with a real love of the game. What could be better than the beautiful game, in a beautiful atmosphere, in our beautiful city. I can’t wait.”