Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has revealed that he asked UEFA for permission to stage next month’s Champions League match against Liverpool at Bari’s Stadio San Nicola.
De Laurentiis also owns SSC Bari and has proposed that the 58,000-seat Stadio San Nicola host the game on October amid ongoing renovation work at Napoli’s Stadio San Paolo (pictured).
The Independent reports that UEFA has not received a request from Napoli to move the match, despite De Laurentiis’ claim. Bari’s stadium is located some 160 miles from the San Paolo.
Napoli is able to play at the San Paolo and has already held a league match at the stadium this season. De Laurentiis, however, is not pleased with the progress being made and last month even described the stadium as a “toilet”.
Speaking at the European Club Association summit this week, De Laurentiis said: “For me, it’s a nightmare. Such a bad stadium limits the status of Napoli at an international level. In the meantime, I’ve asked UEFA to authorise to play Champions League matches at Bari. I’ll pay 1,000 buses out of my own pocket so Napoli fans can attend the match.”
It appears unlikely that the match would be moved to Bari at such short notice and the Liverpool Echo newspaper reported that UEFA has cleared the San Paolo to stage games despite seating at the venue not meeting its standards.
The other teams drawn alongside Napoli and Liverpool in Group C are Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Belgrade.