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Why Anfield won’t be able to host potential Euro 2028 matches

Anfield will not be able to host any matches should the UK and Ireland win their bid to host Euro 2028, and here we explain why.

Reports suggest there may only be six stadiums in England that would host matches, with Anfield excluded from the current list of 10 options.

According to the Times, those stadiums are Wembley, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the London Stadium, Villa Park, Stadium MK, Old Trafford, the Etihad, Everton’s planned Bramley Moore Dock ground, Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and Newcastle United’s St James’ Park.

So why is Anfield not being considered, despite the fact it will soon be the fifth-largest stadium in the country once the expansion of the Anfield Road End has been completed?

Pitch 2

The size of Anfield’s pitch means it is not a UEFA required stadium, which is the same reason why it’s unable to host Europa League or Champions League finals.

The playing surface at Liverpool’s home stadium is smaller than the fixed dimensions of 105m by 68m that host stadiums must have. Chelsea‘s Stamford Bridge has been ruled out for similar reasons.

Liverpool had the opportunity to address this with their expansion of the Anfield Road End, but that would have required adjustments to the lower tier of the stand, including extensive work to the entry and exit points.

Instead, Liverpool decided the redevelopment work will not impact the lower tier.

As things stand, the length of the Anfield pitch stands at 101m-long, four metres short of UEFA’s regulation size.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 3, 2022: Construction continues on the new upper tier to the Anfield Road stand at Anfield, home of Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In their documentation for Euro 2024, UEFA’s information on pitch requirements reads:

The field of play must have the standard dimensions of 105m x 68m and respect the IFAB Laws of the Game.

The area around the field of play up until the perimeter boards (but a minimum of 3m) must be flat and consist of natural grass (or high quality artificial turf).

The overall distance between the field of play and the edge of the spectator seating area must be at least 7.5m (preferably 10m) behind each goal and at least 6m (preferably 8.5m) along the touchlines.

This space is needed in particular for the substitutes’ benches, the camera positions, microphones, photographers and advertising boards. This results in a minimum overall available area of 120m x 80m and a preferred overall area of 125m x 85m.

Everton‘s proposed new 52,888 seater stadium, which they are scheduled to move into ahead of the 2024/25, would fit in with these requirements.

If the UK and Ireland’s Euro 2028 bid goes on to be successful, there’s every chance matches will be played on Merseyside, but not at Anfield!

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