2028 European Football Championships will be Belfast’s 'time to shine', says O'Neill

The 2028 European Football Championships will be Belfast’s time to shine, Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill has said.

The 2028 European Football Championships will be Belfast’s time to shine, Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill has said. There are plans to redevelop the derelict GAA stadium Casement Park, in west Belfast, to host some games in the tournament hosted by the UK and Ireland. However there has been uncertainty over funding for the project, the estimated costs of which have spiralled to a reported £308 million.

At the end of last month, the former Stormont economy minister Conor Murphy indicated that a final report is expected from Uefa in June after a visit by officials to Belfast over proposals to host tournament games in the city. Ms O’Neill described “an epic opportunity”.

Speaking at a dinner in Belfast on Saturday organised by Cairde Shinn Fein, she said: “Hosting the 2028 European Football Championships in a world-class Casement Park presents our island and economy with an unprecedented opportunity. “Every four years we turn on our televisions to see the European Championships being hosted in major cities across Europe – in Berlin, Paris, and Madrid.

“Now in 2028, we won’t be watching from afar, Belfast and Dublin will be inscribed on that prestigious list of host cities. “This is our time to shine and showcase everything that we have to offer as hosts.” Ms O’Neill added: “It will be a magnificent boost to our local economy and an epic opportunity to really show the world everything that is great about our people and island. “By working together, we will make this a European Championship that will be long celebrated in the minds of football fans and local communities for years to come.”

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