Gareth Southgate positive about UK and Ireland bid for Euro 2028

Gareth Southgate says it will be “brilliant for everybody” if the UK and Ireland’s bid to host the Euro 2028 gets the green light and questioned the “integrity” of the plan for a cross-continent 2030 World Cup.

Turkey’s withdrawal to focus on a joint submission with Italy for Euro 2032 means the five-nation bid is now the only option on the table for the finals in five years’ time.

UEFA will formally announce the hosts for the two tournaments following a meeting of its executive committee in Switzerland next week.

“But I think you know, all the nations are fantastic football nations, huge pride.

“They’ll have huge pride in hosting and if the teams get qualified as well then there’s obviously some home advantage to hosting as well.”

The news came on the same day that it emerged Spain, Portugal and Morocco are set to co-host the 2030 men’s World Cup, with three South American nations.

1966 World Cup 50 Year Anniversary Announcement – Royal Garden Hotel
Spain, Portugal and Morocco are set to co-host the 2030 men’s World Cup (PA)

The rest of the 48-team tournament will then move to north Africa and Europe, under a proposal from UEFA, the Confederation of African Football and South American confederation CONMEBOL which was accepted by the FIFA council at a meeting on Wednesday.

The hosting arrangement is now subject to formal approval by FIFA’s congress.

Asked about the impact of these plans on player welfare, Southgate said: “I’m not sure what they’ve got in mind for that, really!

“I should enjoy a invite to Buenos Aires as a TV pundit if that’s the plan.”

Pushed on the issue of player welfare during a cross-continent World Cup, the England boss told talkSPORT: “I mean, that’s one part of it.

“But I think all elite sports teams now can manage those scenarios. We have very comfortable travel, we have good recovery strategies.

“It’s more the integrity of the competition, I think…but until I see a really clear plan and outline of exactly what that might look like, yeah, hard to tell.

“But I’m assuming you could have England drawn in a group with Argentina. We could play Argentina in Buenos Aires and then travel back to Portugal or Spain.

“I don’t quite know how that competition could work that way.

“But, as I say, I’ve not been in the discussions that matter on that.”

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