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Russia has launched an audacious challenge to the joint Republic of Ireland and UK bid to host Euro 2028. 

Despite currently being blackballed from world football, a Russian Football Union (RFU) executive committee meeting has given its support to bids for either the 2028 or 2032 European Championships.

The FAI confirmed it lodged an expression of interest on Wednesday - in unison with its counterparts in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England - to host the Euros after next.

The joint bid has also been given the backing of the Irish government.

"We missed out on a lot of things during the pandemic and Ireland hosting games during EURO 2020 was one of those things," said Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers, "I welcome another opportunity to bring this fantastic tournament to Ireland, should a decision be taken to make a formal bid.

"We now look forward to receiving further tournament requirements from UEFA and we will continue to work with our football and government partners to develop our hosting proposal over the coming months."

It had been widely expected that the Irish and UK bid would run unopposed, but Russia has other ideas.

"The RFU plans submitting bids to host the UEFA Euro Cup Championships in 2028 and 2032 and this is not a joke," said RFU official Rustem Saimanov.

"The life goes on, we are ready and open, we must not be closed for UEFA and FIFA," he continued. "We have already hosted numerous high-level tournaments.

"We will be bidding and I presume that there is an ample amount of time, the situation will change and we will consider all details thoroughly."

The Russian national team is currently banned from competing, and - barring an intervention from the Court of Arbitration for Sport - will give a walkover to Poland in their Qatar 2022 playoff semi-final.

UEFA has also barred Russian clubs from competing in its tournaments, recently quashing a request for a stay on the expulsion of Spartak Moscow from the Europa League.

This has not dulled the enthusiasm of Russian officials, with Saimanov saying of their Euros bids, "I cannot say that it may happen in 2028, but highly likely in 2032.

"We have already asked to provide us with relevant documents to study all requirements and will be waiting for them now."

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Euro 2028 Euro 2032 FAI Republic Of Ireland Russia UEFA Ukraine

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