Russia launching bid to host 2028, 2032 Euros amid Ukraine war, FIFA ban

After it was banned from all international competition amid its invasion of Ukraine, Russia is preparing bids to try and host either the 2028 or 2032 European Championship.

The Russian Football Union executive committee said on Wednesday that it will “support the decision to declare interest” in hosting either the 2028 or 2032 tournaments, according to The Associated Press. The RFU has not yet submitted bids to UEFA, but UEFA said Wednesday that both Russia and Turkey have declared interest in hosting officially before the deadline.

All Russian teams have been banned from international competition, though there is not a rule prohibiting the organization from bidding to host future tournaments.

"The Bureau of the FIFA Council and the UEFA Executive Committee decided on 28 February to suspend all Russian teams, whether national representative teams or club teams, from participation in both FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice. However, no suspension of the Football Union of Russia was imposed at that time," UEFA said in a statement, via ESPN.

"The UEFA Executive Committee will nevertheless remain on standby to convene further extraordinary meetings, on a regular ongoing basis where required … to reassess the legal and factual situation as it evolves and adopt further decisions as necessary, including in light of the declaration of interest expressed by the Football Union of Russia for hosting the UEFA EURO."

Will either Russian bid succeed?

At this point, it looks like either bid will be tough for Russia to successfully land.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is approaching the one month mark, and the sports world has issued widespread condemnation and sanctions since the Russians first started fighting.

Both FIFA and UEFA have banned the Russian national team from international competition, including the World Cup later this year. UEFA also moved the Champions League final out of Russia, and Electronic Arts pulled all Russian teams from the FIFA video game.

FIFA postponed Ukraine’s World Cup playoff semifinal match in the wake of Russia’s invasion, too, as the entire Ukrainian national team is reportedly still in the country and unable to practice — as the Ukrainian government has required all men between the age of 18 and 60 to stay and help.

The United Kingdom and Ireland officially submitted a bid to host the 2028 tournament. Italy is also in the mix for the 2032 event.

UEFA won’t make a decision about the next European Championships until Sept. 2023, and a lot can change before then. Given the intense backlash facing Russia throughout Europe, though, it seems unlikely that there will be much support for the tournament being held in Russia anytime soon.

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