TWO North-East stadia have been included in the list of 14 venues that have been shortlisted by the UK and Ireland bid team to host matches at Euro 2028.

St James’ Park, in Newcastle, and the Stadium of Light, in Sunderland, feature amongst the nine English stadia that are included in a preliminary bid dossier that has been submitted to tournament organisers UEFA.

With the UK footballing authorities having teamed up with the Republic of Ireland to submit a joint bid, there are two stadia selected in Ireland along with one each in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The nine English stadia include three in London – Wembley, the London Stadium and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as well as Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

Everton’s new ground at Bramley-Moore Dock is on the shortlist, as is Villa Park in Birmingham, but Elland Road, Anfield and Hillsborough all miss out.

The Aviva Stadium and Croke Park are the shortlisted venues in Dublin, while the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and Hampden Park in Glasgow complete the list along with Casement Park, a Gaelic sports venue in Belfast which is in the process of being redeveloped.

The UK-Ireland bid faces competition from Turkey, with UEFA’s executive committee set to make a decision on hosting for Euro 2028 and Euro 2032 in September next year.

A joint statement from the five bidding associations said: “We are delighted that Government Partners of the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and officials in Northern Ireland, support this bid.

“Together, we believe we can deliver a world-class tournament, and that hosting Euro 2028 will achieve a strong and sustainable legacy for football and wider society, helping to drive economic growth in local communities.

“Working with UEFA, our plan is to host a tournament that will be a catalyst for transformational grassroots football development – with a promise to share legacy initiatives with European national associations to accelerate growth across the continent.

“The UK and Ireland’s track record of hosting successful major sporting events over many decades means we have the expertise and experience to take this world-class tournament to new heights.

“Our compact plan and pioneering, multi-partner collaboration can usher in a new era for the Euro. Through the latest digital and marketing innovations, we will help UEFA and its partners engage new audiences and the world’s youth to extend the impact and reach of the tournament further than ever before.”

The UK and Ireland had initially undertaken a feasibility study looking at the possibility of bidding for the 2030 World Cup, but switched focus to the Euros.

Consultations with cities and stadia will continue into next year, with a final list due to be submitted to UEFA in late April.

It is hoped that both St James’ Park and the Stadium of Light will remain on the final list, with Sunderland AFC chief operating officer, Steve Davison, delighted that the latter has made the provisional cut.

“To have made the shortlist is brilliant news for the city, and shows that we have the history, the facilities and the rich sporting background to compete with any major city in the country,” said Davison. “As we have always maintained, the opportunity to tap into our community and express who we are as a city has been paramount to us whenever we have hosted events.

“The chance to welcome visitors to Sunderland, and exhibit the rich traditions of what this city means to us, is one which we would grasp with both hands.”