The Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association are planning to submit a joint bid to host the UEFA Under-21 Championship in 2023.
The bid is expected to be submitted to UEFA in 2019 with a decision expected in early 2020.
Venues are yet to be finalised but Aviva Stadium, the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, the redeveloped Dalymount Park, Ballymena Showgrounds, Tallaght Stadium and Turner’s Cross are all options to host games.
The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) have also confirmed that Thomond Park in Limerick and Kingspan Stadium in Belfast will be made available.
It is the first time the two associations have worked together on a joint bid to host a tournament.
The Republic of Ireland are due to play Northern Ireland in a friendly match at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on November 15.
John Delaney, FAI chief executive, said: “This is a historic announcement as it sees both the FAI and the Irish FA working together on a project which will bring significant benefits to Ireland – north and south.
“We believe that the unique nature of our bid makes it a compelling vision for both UEFA and the wider European football family.
“We believe that the unique nature of our bid makes it a compelling vision for both UEFA and the wider European football family.”
FAI chief executive John Delaney
“Both Associations have a recent history of working together on various projects, including Third Level Football, Walking Football, and the introduction of the President’s Junior Cup.
“This joint bid further strengthens that level of co-operation and co-hosting the U-21 finals in 2023 will follow on from our hosting of the U-17 EUROs next summer and four games in EURO 2020 in Aviva Stadium.”
Patrick Nelson, Irish FA chief executive, said: “Northern Ireland successfully hosted the 2017 UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship and will host the UEFA Under-19 Championship in 2020.
We saw last year how a tournament can help inspire a generation to play football and I have no doubt that, if successful, 2023 would help grow the game at all levels.
“We could not host a tournament of this scale on our own, therefore I am pleased that both Associations are working in partnership on this bid.
“We could not host a tournament of this scale on our own, therefore I am pleased that both Associations are working in partnership on this bid.”
Irish FA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson
“I believe that together we can showcase the best of the game in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to the football world.”
If the bid is successful, it is expected both countries would qualify automatically would qualify as hosts for the 2023 tournament.
The Republic of Ireland finished third in their recent Under-21 qualifying campaign, winning four games. Northern Ireland finished second in their group, winning six of their 10 matches.
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