Gabriele Gravina, the president of the FIGC, the Italian soccer federation, confirmed at a press conference yesterday (January 26) that the country will bid to host either the 2028 or 2032 European Championship, the continent’s top-tier national soccer teams tournament.
As reported by the Football Italia portal, Gravina said: “The decisive step for the 2028 Euros is in March, and we will present our candidacy before the UEFA Executive committee on March 20, which is also open for 2032."
Such a move could catalyze the renovation of stadiums around the country, many of which are outdated, and the development of new infrastructure.
Gravina added: “We will evaluate one of the two options. We’ll do it in a serious fashion, because there is great desire for renewal of infrastructures, for example in Florence, Cagliari, Bologna and Bari.”
Italy last hosted a major tournament in 1990, when it staged the World Cup, with many of its major stadiums having been left without significant upgrades since then.
Not only have various clubs been frustrated by bureaucracy in attempts to renovate stadiums over the years, but soccer in the country is under extreme financial strain at present due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning outside investment would likely be required for many potential projects.
Giuseppe Marotta, the chief executive of Inter Milan, this week said that the league is financially “at the edge of the abyss” and needs more financial support from the government.
One project that is underway is the construction of a new stadium to replace the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, known commonly as the San Siro, where both Inter and Ac Milan play, with the with the Milan city council having given its approval for the construction of the new stadium in November.