Anfield won’t be able to host any matches if the UK and Ireland win their bid to host Euro 2028, and here’s 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, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London Stadium, Villa Park, MK Stadium, Old Trafford, the Etihad, Everton’s planned Bramley Moore Pier ground, Sunderland’s Stadium of Light. and Newcastle United’s St James Park.
So why not consider Anfield, even though it will soon be the fifth largest stadium in the country once the Anfield Road End expansion is complete?
Anfield’s pitch size means it’s not a UEFA-required stadium, which is the same reason it can’t 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 chance to address this with their Anfield Road End expansion, but that would have required adjustments to the lower level of the stand, including extensive work on entry and exit points.
Instead, Liverpool decided that the refurbishment work will not affect the lower tier.
As it stands, Anfield’s pitch length is 101m, four meters short of the UEFA regulation size.
In their documentation for Euro 2024, UEFA’s information on pitch requirements says:
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 to the perimeter fences (but a minimum of 3m) must be flat and made of natural grass (or high quality artificial grass).
The total 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) behind each goal. along the sidelines.
This space is required in particular for substitutes’ benches, camera stands, microphones, photographers and billboards. This results in a minimum total available area of 120m x 80m and a preferred total area of 125m x 85m.
Everton’s proposed new 52,888-seat stadium, which it is scheduled to move into before 2024/25, would fit these requirements.
If the UK and Ireland’s Euro 2028 bid is successful, there’s a good chance the matches will be played on Merseyside, but not Anfield!