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Euro 2028 bid more a waste of time than money - Dan McDonnell

Dan McDonnell expressed some concerns on the Football Show as Ireland announced it was part of a joint bid to host Euro 2028.

Ireland announced it was part of a joint bid with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for Euro 2028 on Wednesday and while Football Ireland were keen to promote their excitement around the bid, Irish Independent writer Dan McDonnell had some concerns.

Speaking to Joe Molloy on The Football Show, McDonnell said it wasn’t about the money that was going to be spent but rather the impact that hosting such a tournament would have.  

McDonnell pointed to the facilities used in the League of Ireland and other competitions around the country and asked whether the money that is spent by Football Ireland on the Euro 2028 bid would be better spent elsewhere.  

"It's not that I think it's a waste of money. I think in this instance the FAI's outlay will be relatively small. Particularly because the only stadium that is being used is the Aviva,” McDonnell said.  

"Dublin City Council have committed to certain infrastructural outlays." 

Football Ireland said on Thursday that the tournament would be worth approximately €240 million to the Irish economy.  

"To me, it's more a waste of time,” McDonnell explained.  

"I've lived through too many instances of this being trumpeted as a wonderful thing and I think a lot of people who go to football week in, week out -- again I can't speak for everyone and generalise -- a lot of people just exist in terrible facilities." 

McDonnell continued and said there was a fear in some areas that this would act a distraction from issues on the ground rather than an actual positive for soccer in Ireland.  

[They're] naturally fearful that this is just a major deflection,” McDonnell added. 

"I appreciate the argument that you can do two things at once."  

"Unfortunately we have no evidence of the house in order to get behind that." 

The Aviva and a redeveloped Casement Park have been chosen as the two stadiums on the island of Ireland to be included in the bid, with Croke Park excluded.  

The other stadiums featured are Wembley Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Etihad Stadium, St James' Park, the new Everton Stadium in Liverpool, an expanded Villa Park, Millennium Stadium and Hampden Park.  

Football Ireland CEO Jonathan Hill explained on Thursday that the Aviva had been selected over Croke Park as only one stadium per city – bar London – was allowed.  

England hosted several games during Euro 2020 although there were some at Wembley – including the final – which were marred by controversy.  

Turkey are the other nation to have put in a bid and respective parties will find out in either September or October if they have been successful. 

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