Northern Ireland

UEFA continuing to ‘work closely together’ with all parties on development of Casement Park

Report claimed UEFA has made decision to drop Casement Park “from the list of 10 host venues”

A comparison image of what Casement Park is meant to be and what Casement Park looks like now
Casement Park is listed to host games at the Euro 2028 tournament. but there is growing concern time is running out

UEFA is continuing to work closely with all interested parties in connection with the development of Casement Park ahead of Euro 2028, the soccer governing body said on Monday.

While the GAA and other involved admit time is running out to revamp the venue in line with the timetable laid down by European soccer chiefs, no decision has been made by UEFA on Belfast as a host city.

According to a report in The Times newspaper, the governing body “expects Northern Ireland to drop out as hosts because of problems over raising the money to redevelop Casement Park”.

“If that happens, the four matches that Belfast is due to host will go to Wembley, Cardiff, Dublin and Hampden Park in Glasgow,” it was reported. It is understood five matches are planned for Casement.

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EURO 2024 is continuing in Germany (Bradley Collyer/PA)

In a statement on Monday, a UEFA spokesperson said: “All stakeholders continue to work closely together regarding the development of Casement Park. Further updates will be provided when necessary.

“We have no further information to provide you with on this topic.”

GAA President Jarlath Burns last week cast doubt work will begin in time for completion in 2027, a year ahead of the championships. Ulster GAA said it remans fully committed to the project.

GAA president Jarlath Burns
GAA president Jarlath Burns (Niall Carson/PA)

It is still hoped an incoming Labour government will quickly commit funds to the development and there will be some flexibility over the timetable.

First Minister Michelle O’Neill said at the weekend her preference was that the ground would be ready in time for the Euros, but said that in any case it would be rebuilt while she is in office.

She said: “In case there is any doubt out there, Casement Park will be built on my watch.”

Uefa has been surprised that more Euro 2024 tickets have been bought in the US than in any other country apart from the hosts, Germany.