After the great enthusiasm following the recent victory at the UEFA 2020, Italy is willing to organise a big football tournament. If that happened, it would require a solid redevelopment of the stadiums.
The Italian national team beat the English at the last EURO but it seems that a chance for serious revenge will happen soon. And we do not have in mind sports competition, but rather a diplomatic debate and negotiations in the political cabinets. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently supported the potential candidacy of the UK and Ireland, Italy now answers with their willingness to host one of the biggest football events in the world.
"We will evaluate an Italy candidacy for the 2028 European Championship and the FIFA World Cup in 2030, in which the centenary of the world championship is celebrated," said FIGC (the Italian Football Federation) president Gabriele Gravina at a press conference.
According to our latest news, UEFA has officially started the process to choose the host(s) for the UEFA EURO 2028. If Italy thinks about the tournament seriously they have to confirm their interest before March 23, 2022. One week later, bid requirements will be available to the bidders with the final announcement of all candidatures set on April 5, 2022. Deadline for the final bid dossier submission expires on April 12, 2023. The final appointment will be revealed in September 2023.
Italy loves football but stadium upgrades necessary
As the great enthusiasm, passion and commitment to football in Italy are the big advantages, such a bid seems to be realistic. We cannot forget about challenges at the same time. Some Italian venues are not in the best shape, being not renovated since the FIFA World Cup in 1990, the last major tournament hosted by Italy alone.
© Nicos Roussos (cc: by-nc-sa)
"We must improve the conditions of the stadiums because if we do not start an investment path in infrastructure we will never be able to aspire to organise such a great event," said Gravina. What is more, he explained: "We must do things quickly. For me, we cannot go into a bid thinking that we have the stadiums, but if you give me the event, I will then improve them. That's not how it works."
As the guidelines for the tournament in 2030 are not known yet, we can only make reference to the bidding process for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. According to the requirements published by FIFA, we can predict that potential hosts will have to deliver 14-16 venues with a minimum of 40,000 capacity each.
Joint bid with Saudi Arabia?
The big ambitions also come from the government and the football federation of Saudi Arabia. It was reported recently that the country is exploring a bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2030. It would not be anything surprising but there were rumours that the Middle Eastern nation considers a joint bid with Italy.
For now, it is difficult to imagine the logistics aspects of such a tournament, but when it comes to final decisions, based mostly on building soft power, politics and multi-million deals, we would never say never. According to “The Athletic”, Saudi Arabia wants to be included in the race to host the tournament and has identified Italy as their preferred co-bidder.
When it comes to the FIFA World Cup 2030, this year we reported about other bidding candidates. Together with a plethora of other potential joint bidders, Spain and Portugal confirmed their aspirations too. Bidding process formally starts in 2022, FIFA will choose the hosts in 2024 during the 74th FIFA’s congress. The next edition of the UEFA EURO will take place in Germany in 2024, while the World Cup will head to Qatar in 2022 and the US, Canada and Mexico in 2026.
Author: Karol Tatar