The Scottish Football Association plans to redevelop Hampden

The Scottish Football Association will hold talks with the government over the potential redevelopment of Hampden as part of their joint bid to host Euro 2028.

The five football associations of the United Kingdom and Ireland have confirmed that they will continue their bid to co-host the European Championship finals and abandon similar plans to host the 2030 World Cup.

Football authorities expect to secure support from various governments in the coming weeks before the March 23 deadline to register their intention to bid with UEFA.

Hampden has staged European finals in its current form and has around 50,000 seats, but the viewing experience for fans in the lower areas of the stands behind the two goals is not optimal.

The SFA took possession of the national stadium at Queen’s Park 18 months ago and want to improve it.

Ian Maxwell, right

Ian Maxwell, right, with Steve Clarke in Hampden (Jane Barlow/PA)

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell said: “The stadium is important to us, there’s no doubt about it, and we need to look at exactly what hosting a Euro 2028 can do in terms of developing Hamden.

“We are very focused on developing Hampden and we need to engage with the Scottish government primarily to see what hosting a euro can help with that.”

France used 10 stadiums in 2016 before Euro 2020 was spread across Europe, but the size of the tournament could be expanded, so no decision has been made on venues.

UEFA normally requires a minimum capacity of 30,000 which could leave Ibrox, Celtic Park and possibly BT Murrayfield in contention to stage matches in Scotland.

BT Murrayfield

BT Murrayfield is Scotland’s biggest stadium (Malcolm Mackenzie/PA)

Asked if the SFA had any discussions with their rugby counterparts about the possibility of using the 67,000 seater stadium in Edinburgh, Maxwell said: “We are not sure of the venues in each country, it will depend on whether it’s a 24 team event or a 32 team event, and we’ll have to have those discussions by the time we know that detail, because obviously that can have an impact.

It’s also unclear if all five countries would automatically qualify for the tournament, but Maxwell has clarified how much Scottish football has benefited from Hampden Steve Clarke’s side at Euro 2020, nearly a quarter of a century ago. after Scotland’s previous appearance in a major tournament.

“Obviously we’ve put on games in 2021 and been lucky enough to be part of the tournament, and the impact we’ve seen on the game in this country has been huge,” Maxwell said.

“We engaged with a significant number of Scots who weren’t really engaged with the national team before and weren’t really engaged with football.


Hampden staged Euro 2020 matches under crowd restrictions (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“All five national associations and the rest of Europe want the game to grow and develop and in our experience there is no better way to do that than to host a major event like this. and to reap the benefits of its participation.

“Obviously we all want to qualify and that will also have a huge part to play, but the advantage we’ve seen of being at our first tournament for a long, long time absolutely reinforces the desire and the benefits that can come from of these events.

Maxwell admitted that Euro 2020 final venue Wembley would be clear favorites to host the final again, but stressed that the bid was not led by the English.


Scotland played England at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final (Mike Egerton/PA)

“It’s really a collegiate candidacy,” he said. “We have worked very closely together, the five football associations, since the launch of the feasibility study and we are absolutely all in the same boat. That is certainly the case.

“There will be a discussion with UEFA over the venues. It makes sense that Wembley are big favorites for the final. Whether it’s the semi-finals as well, we can have those discussions at the right time.

“It really is a collegial effort. England will obviously have more stadiums, it’s a bigger country, that makes sense. But that doesn’t make them a bigger part of the supply than the rest of us.

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