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12th Jun 2024

Jarlath Burns gives worrying update on Casement Park ahead of Euro 2028

Callum Boyle

Casement Park

Not the news that anyone wanted to hear

GAA President Jarlath Burns fears that Casement Park may not be ready in time to host games at Euro 2028.

The UK and Ireland won the rights to host the next version of the tournament and as part of the stadium selection, Casement Park in Belfast had been selected.

However Burns has admitted that progress on redeveloping the former home of Antrim is taking longer than expected and may even mean the stadium isn’t ready in time.

Casement Park

“I’m very, very disappointed with the pace of how it’s gone,” he admitted.

“It’s not looking as if we’re going to get the Euros.

“As somebody who was born and reared in Northern Ireland with a particular affinity to West Belfast, because that’s where my wife is from, I would have felt that it would have had the same impact as U2 playing in Sarajevo at the end of their Zoo TV tour, having spent most of that tour reporting from war-torn Sarajevo.

“It was sending out the message that this city is now back, it’s now a modern, major European city.

“Having attended the final of the Europa League in the Aviva, I can see what UEFA bring to a stadium and to an event. West Belfast deserves that and we’re not getting it.

“It’s just a great pity because the carrot was dangled in front of us and then it was taken away. And actually the big loser here is going to be the game of soccer in Northern Ireland society and the economy.”

Which stadiums are being used for Euro 2028?

Casement Park is the only stadium based in Northern Ireland being used for the tournament but there are still plenty of others.

There are 10 confirmed stadiums for the UK and Ireland edition, which includes the Aviva Stadium in Dublin while in England, the host stadiums are Wembley, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Etihad Stadium, St James’ Park, Villa Park and Everton’s new Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium.

The remaining stadiums are Hampden Park in Glasgow and the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.

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