The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) will officially battle with Turkey to host the 2032 European Championship, after submitting a formal proposal to the UEFA that could help transform the stadium infrastructure across the peninsula were it to be successful.
With the continental governing body holding a vote in October 2023 to determine the winner of the bid to host Euro 2032, that the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has also bid to host Euro 2028 against a collective application from the United Kingdom and Ireland, could strengthen the Italian cause.
After considering a challenge for both Euro 2028 and the 2030 FIFA World Cup, the FIGC confirmed last year that those tournaments would be too soon for a country that last hosted a major tournament over three decades ago – the 1990 World Cup – and had little stadium enhancement since.
Will hosting Euro 2032 lead to stadium redevelopment in Italy?
During the announcement of the bid, the FIGC confirmed that, if successful, they would hold the tournament in the 10 cities of Milan, Turin, Verona, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples, Bari and Cagliari, and acknowledge that waiting until 2032 provides more time to improve stadiums.
“We imagined Italy and European football in 10 years’ time,” announced FIGC president Gabriele Gravina, “in the knowledge that the positive legacy of such an event would multiply extraordinary opportunities for the entire nation.”
Gravina, incidentally, was recently appointed UEFA vice-president.
In recent years, both Milanese clubs, AC Milan and Inter, have unveiled plans to renovate the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza or move to brand new stadiums, with little progress witnessed by either set of fans. AS Roma have regularly found themselves frustrated by attempts to build a new home, whereas Juventus’ domestic dominance was certainly aided by the construction of the Allianz Stadium in 2011.
What stadiums are included in Italy’s bid to host Euro 2032?
- Milan – Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro)
- Turin – Allianz Stadium
- Verona – Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi
- Genoa – Stadio Luigi Ferraris
- Bologna – Stadio Renato Dall’Ara
- Florence – Stadio Artemio Franchi
- Roma – Stadio Olimpico
- Naples – Stadio Diego Armando Maradona
- Bari – Stadio San Nicola
- Cagliari – new Stadio Sant’Elia (to be built and named Stadio Unipol)
Italia ’90 memories
When Italy hosted the 1990 World Cup, Serie A was widely regarded as the strongest domestic championship in Europe and the tournament only extended its popularity through the drama and excitement, even though Germany secured the trophy with an incredibly dull 1-0 win over Diego Maradona and Argentina in Rome.
However, the hosts’ run to the semi-finals under Azeglio Vicini – eventually beating England in the third place play-off – captured the hopes of the nation during a contest that spread 52 games across 12 venues, with 24 nations competing. Those venues then included the Stadio Sant’Elia in Cagliari, which is, somewhat surprisingly, listed as a possible host once more. A new stadium will be built on that same site.
After 32 years, the European Championship has grown into a competition with the same 24 participants. Euro 2024 hosts, Germany, are spreading the tournament across just 10 destinations, as Italy will do should they be awarded the 2032 edition.
Those old enough to remember Italia ’90, will be pleased to see Bari among the chosen cities by FIGC, with the 58,000-capacity Stadio San Nicola providing a wonderful spectacle in full flow and Puglia a stunning region for visitors.