European Championship trophy - CroppedAFP

Russia bids for Euro 2028 and 2032 confirmed by UEFA despite Ukraine invasion

Russia have registered their interest in hosting Euro 2028 and 2032, rivalling UK and Ireland's joint bid for the former tournament despite being hit with a ban from all football competitions by UEFA.

The UK and Ireland have joined forces to bid for the hosting rights for the European Championship in six years' time, formally declaring their interest ahead of the March 23 deadline.

The five football associations from England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales had initially emerged as the sole bidders, but Russia have now also stepped forward at the last minute.

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What has been said?

In a statement on Wednesday evening, UEFA confirmed that Russia and Turkey were making separate bids for both the 2028 and 2032 tournaments, while UK-Ireland were bidding for 2028 while Italy were confirmed as wanting to host in 2032.

The statement read: "UEFA today confirmed that it has received declarations of interest to host the 2028 and 2032 editions of the Euros from four potential bidders following the deadline of March 23.

"A joint declaration of interest was submitted by the football associations of England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales for UEFA Euro 2028.

"Russia and Turkey declared their interest in hosting either the 2028 or 2032 edition of UEFA’s flagship national team competition, while Italy announced its intention to bid for UEFA Euro 2032.

"The appointment of hosts of UEFA Euro 2028 and 2032 will be made in September 2023."

The Russian situation

All Russian clubs and national teams across every age group were suspended indefinitely by UEFA and FIFA in the wake of the country's invasion of Ukraine last month.

The football union of Russia (RFU) is still awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and are technically free to bid for Euro 2028 hosting rights.

Following an executive committee meeting on Wednesday, the union released a post of the results on its official website that included an agreement to "support the decision to declare interest in hosting the European Championship 2028 or 2032 in Russia".

RFU member confirms bid is "not a joke"

Rustem Saymanov, a member of the RFU executive committee, has also confirmed that it is interested in hosting the tournament in 2032 and that the bid is a serious one despite the escalating military conflict in Ukraine.

“The RFU is going to apply for the European Championships in 2028 and 2032, this is not a joke, yes. Life goes on with us, we are open and ready, we should not be closed to UEFA and FIFA," said Saymanov.

“We have held many competitions at a high level. Let's go, I admit that there is a lot of time, the situation will change, we will study everything."

Russia have already been removed from the process of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, which is due to kick off in November, with Poland having been given a bye into the final of the playoffs at their expense.

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