Spanner in the works of Ireland's Euro 2028 dream as 'host nation' rules set to change
Go on and kick us while we're down!
Just as Ireland's Euro 2024 hopes begin to fade, on the back of a disappointing qualification campaign, it now looks like our Euro 2028 dreams won't be as straightforward as once-hoped.
Though not yet confirmed, it does appear that, along with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Ireland will host the 2028 Euros.
In a new twist, however, that we needed like a hole in the head, it now appears that, due to the number of countries involved in the hosting, they won't all be guaranteed a place at the tournament.
The new development was reported by the Times on Tuesday morning, but it did at least come with a silver lining.
Two spots, it was revealed, will be reserved in the new UEFA plan for host nations that do not achieve automatic qualification.
Hopefully, it won't come to this, but the development means that if England, Scotland and Wales do qualify automatically for the tournament, then Ireland and Northern Ireland will also have a place.
The trouble begins if only two of the host nations automatically, however, meaning that the best two will take the reserve spots, with one of the five to be kept out of the tournament.
Turkey are the other venue up for hosting the 24-team tournament, but it looks increasingly like they will pull out in due course, paving the way for Ireland and its neighbours. The destination will be officially announced on October 10.
It was confirmed last week that Stephen Kenny will see out the remainder of Ireland's Euro 2024 qualification campaign though beyond that, his future at the helm looks very uncertain indeed.
For now, our focus remains on qualifying for Euro 2024, which will take place in Germany, though we are now relying on a play-off spot which at the minute looks unlikely.
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