Although Italy was recently awarded the right to co-host the 2032 European Championship with Turkey, Luigi De Siervo says that UEFA could go back on their decision if Italian stadiums do not meet the requirements set by the European football governing body.
Despite winning the bid in Autumn 2023, many stadiums in Italy are dilapidated and outdated. It is because of this that the grounds intended to host matches will have to undergo several checks. These things may entail safety requirements and meeting the minimum capacity to host tournament fixtures.
The last time Italy hosted an international tournament outright was the 1990 World Cup, and the stadiums that hosted games were either refurbished or built only months before the competition began.
Italy are in no position to rush work at the last minute and UEFA wants to see progress.
De Siervo evidently does not want to see the country lose the rights to host the tournament and he has requested to the Italian government that a commissioner is needed to assess and observe the construction of new football stadiums or renovations of current ones.
De Siervo demands that a commissioner oversees stadium construction in Italy
“In October 2026, we hope that the level of sufficiency for the stadiums will be reached by UEFA, otherwise the candidature would be revoked,” De Siervo told ANSA (via calciomercato.com).
“We have signalled to the government the absolute urgency that a commissioner for the stadiums be set up.”
Italian bureaucracy and red tape make stadium construction a difficult process. Many clubs in Italy do not own their own grounds and have to pay rent to councils. A commissioner would, in theory, speed up the process.
Why are Italy and Turkey co-hosting Euro 2032?
CONI president Giovanni Malago acknowledged the current situation of Italy’s football stadiums and lamented that most of them do not meet UEFA requirements. Considering the state of most of the Italian football stadiums, he is doubtful that Italy could have won the bid by themselves.
“If we had gone alone, we would have regretted losing out to Turkey, I don’t know, we would have taken it for granted. When you go to sign you have to provide 10 stadiums with certain parameters for the organisation: the ideal is to get to 12.
“The Olimpico, San Siro, the Juventus [Allianz] Stadium, which in any case cannot host either the opening or the final match, then the stadium in Reggio Emilia and the one in Udine, which the Pozzo family has managed to build in 20 years, but does not have the capacity. For all the other cities, you start with the ordeal. Choose the city you want.”
It is evident that Italy does not have enough modern stadiums. Whether it is structural problems or a lack of amenities, they have fallen behind most of their European counterparts.
Considering the state of most stadiums and Italian bureaucracy, Italy needs to get things in order before October 2026. Failing to do so, they may well have to watch on as another nation hosts Euro 2032 with Turkey.