The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson is shocked at the audacity of Russia to bid for Euro 2028 amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Recall that on February 24, 2022, Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin shocked the world when he ordered his troops to invade Ukraine. Since then, Russia’s troops have placed Ukraine under siege.
Reports from Ukraine showed that Russia’s troops have bombed down different parts of the country and killed scores of Ukrainian.
Due to the invasion of Ukraine, most western countries especially the United Kingdom and the United States have slammed different degrees of sanctions on Russia and its citizens.
Also, the ongoing invasion of Ukraine has forced the World football governing body, FIFA, and the European football governing body, UEFA to slam sanctions on Russia.
Currently, FIFA and UEFA have jointly banned Russia’s national teams and clubs from participating in any football competition until further notice.
The ban forced Russia’s clubs to lose their places in UEFA club competitions in the 2021-2022 season. It has also prevented Russia’s national team from participating in FIFA World Cup qualification play-offs.
Before now, Russia was scheduled to play against Poland in the semi-finals phase of the qualification but the ban on the country gifted Poland an automatic ticket to the final phase of the qualification series.
Based on this, Russia has automatically missed the opportunity of fighting for a place in the forthcoming World Cup in Qatar.
Despite that, the country decided to provoke the world further by bidding for the hosting rights of the 2028 UEFA European Championship.
UEFA confirmed on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, that Russia was one of the countries that met the football body’s deadline for declarations of interest.
A spokesperson of UEFA claimed that Russia has the right to bid for the tournament under the name Football Russian Union which is not suspended from participating in football activities.
Hence, when the football body meets on April 7, 2022, the football body will consider Russia’s bid alongside that of other bidders. A joint bid from the UK and Ireland is set to rival that of Russia, and Turkey if UEFA maintains its current stands on Russia’s bid.
In his reaction, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Russia’s interest in hosting the tournament is “beyond satire” and “beyond comprehension”.
“All I can say is it is beyond satire that any football organization… would want to give Russia, in the present circumstances, the right to host a tournament. It seems beyond comprehension”, Boris Johnson told LBC Radio.
While speaking to Sky News after UEFA confirmed Russia’s interest in hosting Euro 2028, the Prime Minister said he “can’t believe anybody would seriously consider their suggestion”.
Boris Johnson's spokesman just said this clip of the prime minister saying Ukraine should host Euro 2028 (despite UK and Ireland bidding to hold it) does not show the prime minister saying Ukraine should host Euro 2028 pic.twitter.com/2EZxVQIHuM— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) March 24, 2022
Euro 2028 is scheduled to take place from June to July 2028. UEFA is expected to choose the host country at the end of 2023.
Note that Russia (the Football Union of Russia) has dragged FIFA and UEFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the ban slammed on the country. All parties involved are awaiting the outcome of the appeal.