Boris Johnson has offered up Britain’s stadiums for the whole European Championships as the UK’s vaccine roll-out surges ahead of the continent — and he can’t wait to raise a pint to the prospect.
The football tournament’s semi-finals and final are already pencilled in for Wembley in July but temporary teetotaller Mr Johnson said last night: “Any other matches they want hosted, we are certainly on for that!”
It could kick-start a “bonanza” decade of footy, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak set to pump millions into funding the UK and Ireland’s joint pitch to host the 2030 World Cup in tomorrow’s Budget.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, the Prime Minister said: “We are very, very keen to bring football home in 2030. I do think it’s the right place.
“It’s the home of football, it’s the right time. It will be an absolutely wonderful thing for the country.”
Mr Johnson hopes the image of plucky Brexit Britain, fresh from its vaccine success, hosting the European tournament this summer would be a great advert for the UK’s 2030 bid.
And he hopes it will encourage us all to play more sport so the country can “build back fitter” from Covid.
The PM admitted he is gasping for a pint at his local to toast the possibility of greater Euros involvement just as soon as the pubs are allowed to start serving again.
Admitting he is currently “on the wagon”, Mr Johnson said not being able to have a tipple during lockdown had been “a nightmare”.
He said that he would “line up” the pints at the first opportunity when pubs and restaurants are permitted to begin serving outside next month under his strict lockdown-easing policies.
As well as pubs reopening in April, trials will begin into how best to get fans safely back into football grounds.
We are very, very keen to bring football home in 2030.
Ministers are in talks with UEFA amid fears the current plan to host the contest across 11 European cities will be sunk by soaring Covid cases across the Channel.
Mr Johnson said: “We are hosting the Euros. We are hosting the semis and the final.
“If there’s, you know, if they want any other matches that they want hosted, we’re certainly on for that but at the moment that’s where we are with UEFA.”
And a summer of football this year would showcase Britain as the perfect venue for the World Cup in nine years’ time.
The UK Sun reported that Chancellor Sunak’s Budget tomorrow will earmark £2.8million to promote the UK and Ireland’s official pitch to FIFA to hold the tournament.
There will also be £25million in new funding from the Treasury to help the grassroots game grow.
It would be enough to fund around 700 new pitches across the UK.
That will helps towards the government’s plans to get Britain match fit for the future