Italian sports bodies in stadium plea to government

The presidents of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Lega Serie A have urged the national government to address Italy’s problems surrounding the development of football stadiums.

The leaders of the three organisations have written a letter to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Minister of Economy Roberto Gualtieri, Minister of Sport Vincenzo Spadafora and Minister of Cultural Heritage Dario Franceschini to discuss the “difficult moment” Italian football is facing and the “backwardness” of infrastructure projects within the sport.

The letter proposes a number of actions that can be carried out to begin what CONI, FIGC and Lega Serie A feel is necessary renovation work at stadiums across Italy.

The organisations are seeking dialogue with the government to reduce the number of bodies involved in the authorisation process for a stadium project. That number is currently six and the letter cited Germany, where one or two authorities are involved, as an example to follow.

It is also proposed that the number of phases involved in the authorisation process is reduced from seven. The letter noted that in Germany there are just two phases, with the European average standing at five.

The letter also calls for the removal of legislative constraints relating to the intended use of stadiums. The letter was sent along with a Monitor Deloitte report, which highlights the potential for stadium renovation in Italy.

The letter reads: “The terrible situation that the whole world is facing leads us to share a necessary reflection on the future of Italian football, hit and severely tested, like any other industrial sector, by the epidemic caused by COVID-19.

“We must highlight and denounce the obsolete and deficient state of our country’s sports infrastructure, incomparable to the stadiums in Europe. The comparison with the European context is merciless. Italy is behind England, Germany and Spain in terms of average revenues from competitions, spectators, modernity of the systems and the number of new stadiums built in the last 20 years.”

In Serie A, there are currently stadium projects in the pipeline for Fiorentina and Parma (pictured), while cross-city rivals Inter and AC Milan are in the process of finalising plans to revamp their iconic San Siro stadium.

Image: Verdi85/CC BY-SA 3.0/Edited for size