The Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association have revealed their intention to submit a joint bid to host the UEFA Under-21 Championship in 2023 in a historic announcement.
John Delaney, FAI Chief Executive.
The UEFA Under-21 Championship is the second largest football tournament in Europe with the best young talent from across the continent taking part.
The formal bid will be submitted to UEFA next year with a decision expected in early 2020.
Venues will be finalised as part of the bid process and matches could be played at the Aviva Stadium, the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, the redeveloped Dalymount Park, Ballymena Showgrounds, Tallaght Stadium and Turner’s Cross.
The Irish Rugby Football Union has also confirmed that Thomond Park in Limerick and Kingspan Stadium in Belfast can also be used as potential venues in any bid.
If successful, it is expected that both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland would qualify as hosts for the 2023 Championship.
The news comes ahead of the senior-friendly international between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on 15 November.
It is the first time that the Associations have worked together on a joint bid.
John Delaney, FAI Chief Executive, said:
“This joint bid further strengthens that level of co-operation and co-hosting the U-21 finals in 2023 will follow on from our hosting of the U-17 EUROs next summer and four games in EURO 2020 in Aviva Stadium.”
Patrick Nelson, Irish FA Chief Executive, said:
“Northern Ireland successfully hosted the 2017 UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship and will host the UEFA Under-19 Championship in 2020.
“We saw last year how a tournament can help inspire a generation to play football and I have no doubt that, if successful, 2023 would help grow the game at all levels.
– Digital Desk