Economy Minister Gordon Lyons says he is confident barriers to taking part in a joint UK and Ireland bid to host Euro 2028 can be overcome.
However, he added a new Executive will have to formally agree any participation.
Earlier, Mr Lyons appeared to cast doubt over the bid, saying he can’t at this stage provide financial support, citing the lack of an Executive and budget.
In a letter to fellow ministers, he also highlighted the lack of capacity in local stadiums to host games.
Concerns: Former IFA president Jim Boyce. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA
However, he later appeared to row back, tweeting: “Despite misleading media reports today, I have ensured that Northern Ireland remains part of the process for hosting Euro 2028 and I am determined that not only are we part of a successful bid, but that we host matches here in Northern Ireland.”
And the Department for the Economy said: “While there are clearly obstacles in place at the moment, the minister is confident that these can be overcome.”
IFA chief executive Patrick Nelson also said the bid remained on track.
“We are looking forward to playing a full and active part in what we hope will be a successful Uefa Euro 2028 bid,” he said.
“This means hosting fixtures, and we will make every effort with relevant partners to ensure this happens.”
The main doubt around the hosting of games is a requirement by Uefa for stadia to have a minimum 30,000-seat capacity. Windsor Park currently has a capacity of 18,500.
Former IFA president and Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce said the bid would rely on either a redeveloped Casement Park, or special dispensation from Uefa to overcome the 30,000 capacity requirement.
Planning permission for Casement Park was granted last July, with a completion date of 2024.
However, a judicial review over the plans brought by a residents’ group is due to be heard in the coming weeks.
Mr Boyce said: “No one would be more delighted than me if Northern Ireland was able to host some European Championship matches, but realistically there are only two options left for that to happen.
“Back in the early 2000s when I was IFA president, the British Government at the time talked with us, the GAA and the IRFU about the possibility of building a stadium here that would exceed 50,000 in capacity, but it had to be at the former Maze Prison site.
“There was an awful lot of politics involved and there were several people firmly against a stadium at the Maze site.
“The government said if there was money going to become available, it was going to be the Maze or nowhere. There was no alternative. Cutting a long story short, it didn’t happen.
“Where we are at this stage, to me, is that there are only two options.
“Casement Park, which is being talked about, but the redevelopment hasn’t even started yet.
“The only other way to go would be if Uefa, and they have never done this before as far as I’m aware, allows for a special dispensation so that Windsor Park can hold a couple of the smaller games.”
When approached by the Belfast Telegraph, Uefa simply referred to its rules for bidding for the Euros and said it had no further comment to make.
Mr Boyce also said a bid by Russia to host the competition was “disgraceful” and should be thrown out without discussion following the invasion of Ukraine.
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