Joint Euro 2028 bid will ‘help Boris Johnson save the Union’ claims Telegraph chief sports writer
The joint bid put in by Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland to host Euro 2028 could “help Boris Johnson save the Union” according to the Telegraph‘s chief sports writer.
Oliver Brown said that the tournament, which could be held in close proximity to another Scottish independence referendum, could be “milked for political capital”.
“The ‘stronger together’ theme of the UK and Ireland’s bid is unmistakeable,” he wrote, adding that the “cross-border jamboree of summer football” could “quell any debate over the future of the Union for good”.
Despite the presence of the independent Republic of Ireland in the joint bid, Oliver Brown said that the bid would be a “concrete expression” of Boris Johnson’s “oft-stated belief in the strength of the Union”.
“Much depends on how many of Euro 2028’s host nations will earn the right to qualify, but the precedents suggest a tournament extending from London to Dublin, Glasgow to Cardiff, will engender the same unifying effect,” he wrote.
“And however much we might still delude ourselves that sport is apolitical, it is one that Johnson, scarred by myriad scandals and searching for some tangible monument to his defence of the union, is primed to exploit.”
Yesterday the Football Associations of England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales have today submitted a joint ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) to host Uefa’s Euro 2028.
They are likely to be handed the tournament unopposed as the only other country to show an interest in hosting the country is Russia, who faste a sporting boycott over their invasion of Ukraine.
Oliver Brown added that talk of a Scottish independence campaign in the early 2020s was “remote to the point of fancy” and therefore “the prospect of a giant shared sporting enterprise in 2028 has the potential to inflict further damage on [Nicola Sturgeon’s] fading campaign.”
“If there is one constant in Johnson’s political calculus, it is his fondness for using the power of sport to buttress his reputation and advance his objectives.
“Johnson’s governing philosophy has been described as ‘boosterism’ – defined, depending on taste, by either the defiance of gloom or the mantras of a mindless optimist – and it is seldom more effective than when there is a vast sporting celebration in which to bask.
“The abiding collective memory of the London Games is of a time when, if only temporarily, grievances and resentments melted away.”
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The union will be long gone by then
Perhaps one ‘circus’ 6 years from now – but no bread?
And that’s going to unite the Empire?
I thought he thinks of himself as a history buff!
It’s more of this joint UK football team guff from yesterday. This bid has been submitted by FIVE yes FIVE football associations not two (UK & Ireland). This bolsters global recognition of the existence of a NUMBER of nations around these two islands so this attempt to hijack it for the ‘one nation’ agenda is just desperation.
Agreed but of course the “joint bid” will be seen and reported throughout the world as the English bid and the rest of us, even the ROI will be ignored and /or patronised.
Yes I fear so. We will have to monitor TV & radio presentations for subtle suggestions that it is ‘OUR TOURNAMENT’ with few or maybe no references to ‘with a little help from our friends’. This will certainly be the case in the papers we’ve been hearing from.
The “joint bid” is just one more propaganda tool. If the FAW doesn’t kick this in to touch they won’t be the people I believe them to be.
If Oliver Brown thinks a football tournament can “quell any debate over the future of the Union for good”.
He is at best naïve but more probably utterly deluded. The Union will not be saved it is ultimately doomed and if the people of Wales do not embrace independence we will forever more be England’s playground
What planet are these people on? It shows they fear the breakup of the Union big time. Rather than waste money on this if he really wants to save his precious Union he should spend billions leveling up the country (after centuries of neglect) and transfer power out of London. He won’t do either so the Union is dead.
Really happy to read thism will be great if we can get some games here in Wales and maybe Bristol and Manchester to pop over to watch.
Sounds like this so-called Telegraph chief sports writer has been smoking some scented tobacco to suggest that a combined Irish & British Euro 2028 bid will save this failing British Union. How wrong is he.
He has just muted that the Games should go to Ukraine!
Err no it wouldn’t ‘Save the Union’ Assuming all teams qualify then… The Welsh would be supporting Wales The English would be supporting England The Scots would be supporting Scotland The Irish would be supporting Ireland or Northern Ireland (depending on their loyalties, which means even more division), Everyone other than the English would also be supporting England’s opponents. The British Anthem is used to represent the England team which is hardly unifies us. So no it would not Save the Union, anymore then a Joint Scandinavian bid would unite the Danish, Norwegians, Swedes, Finns or the Icelandic, or a… Read more »
Wel, nes i gwrando ar yr anthem ar ddechrau’r gêm heno – sdim gobaith caneri gan Johnson gyda’i gynllun gwallgof.
No thank you Johnson. No little boy’s game can save this awful Union. You have abused us for years. We want a divorce. And we’re keeping the dog (and the natural resources) and we are renaming the bridge.