European champion Italy is mulling a bid for hosting the Euro 2032 and has informed the European football’s governing body UEFA, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said Monday.
UEFA said in December that countries interested in hosting either the 2028 or 2032 European Championships must confirm their bids by March 23.
The bidders will be announced on April 5 while the hosts will be appointed in September 2023.
“In the last few days the Italian Football Federation presented to UEFA its expression of interest for hosting Euro 2032,” FIGC said in a statement.
Italy had originally planned to bid to host either Euro 2028 or the 2030 World Cup, but the FIGC said hosting the 2032 European Championship would provide a “wider time window” to modernize the country’s stadium infrastructure.
Some Italian stadiums have not been updated since the 1990 World Cup, the last major football tournament hosted by Italy alone.
Italy defeated England in the final of Euro 2020, which was held in several host cities across Europe, with Rome hosting four matches.
UK, Ireland drop World Cup plans
The U.K. and Ireland, in the meanwhile, have decided to drop their plans to stage the 2030 World Cup and will instead focus on a joint campaign to host Euro 2028.
The football associations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have concluded that the European Championship represents a better option than the World Cup after conducting a feasibility study, which was backed by U.K. government money.
“On balance, the five associations have decided to focus solely on an official bid to host Euro 2028 and have agreed not to bid for the 2030 World Cup,” they said in a statement.
“Hosting a Euro offers a similar return on investment, with the European tournament carrying a far lower delivery cost and the potential of the benefits being realized sooner.
“It would be an honour and a privilege to collectively host Euro 2028 and to welcome all of Europe. It would also be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the true impact of hosting a world-class football tournament by driving positive change and leaving a lasting legacy across our communities.”
The World Cup bid had been criticized as an “expensive vanity project” by Julian Knight, the lawmaker who chairs the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, after the failed solo attempts by England to stage the 2006 and 2018 World Cups.
The chaos that marred Wembley’s hosting of the Euro 2020 final last year does not appear to have turned UEFA against staging big events at the London venue, with the inaugural “Finalissima” match between European champions Italy and South American champions Argentina taking place there in June.
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