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Events

Palermo dropped from Italy’s final Euro 2032 bid

Manica-designed Cagliari has stayed on the bid

Featured image credit: Sportium

Palermo has been dropped from Italy’s UEFA Euro 2032 bid after the nation’s football association confirmed which cities would be used for the event.

The FIGC said 10 cities would host games should Italy be successful over Turkey in the race to stage the tournament in nine years’ time. The winning bid for both the 2028 and 2032 European Championships will be announced in October 2023.

The 10 cities include Italy’s capital, Rome, and the football powerhouses of Milan and Turin. The remaining seven hosts are Verona, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Naples, Bari and Cagliari — whose Manica-designed proposed new stadium is pictured. Only Palermo, Sicily’s capital city, has been dropped from the long list of 11 that was submitted last year.

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina said: “Italy’s candidacy dossier for the organisation of UEFA EURO 2032 is inspired by a ‘New Renaissance’. It was created through continuous connections with the territories, on the one hand enhancing their historical and artistic beauties, on the other respecting their impact and sustainability.”

Italy chose not to bid for 2028 in part because so many major redevelopment projects are being undertaken by its major football clubs. A new venue in Milan has been under discussion for years, while AS Roma’s proposal to develop a new stadium in the Pietralata district recently secured its first local backing following the project being granted public interest status. A number of the confirmed host cities, including Bologna and Genoa, are in the process of constructing new stadiums or redeveloping existing venues.

It is believed that bid chiefs were reluctant to include two island venues, and chose Cagliari, the capital city of Sardinia, over Sicily’s Palermo. The Regional Council of Sardinia last month gave the green light to provide €50m (£45m/$54m) in funding towards a new 25,000-capacity stadium for Italian Serie B football club Cagliari, which could be completed by 2025.

Gravina added: “The dossier is the result of intense work, in which football has once again become an instrument of unity and transversal aggregation, materialised in the adoption of various government, parliamentary and municipal measures, which ennoble our candidacy.

“We have imagined Italy and European football in 10 years’ time, in the knowledge that the positive legacy of such an event will multiply extraordinary opportunities for the entire nation. I thank all the stakeholders involved.”

The UK & Ireland has submitted its final bid for the 2028 event, with Manchester United’s Old Trafford not among the 10 proposed venues.

Turkey, which is bidding for 2028 and 2032, has also now submitted its documents to UEFA.

Mehmet Büyükekşi, president of the Turkish Football Federation, said: “We have always been proud of our modern stadiums and facilities, the passion for football in our country and our high level of organisational ability. Winning the right to host such a big tournament will crown our Republic’s 100th anniversary pride and will add great value to Turkey.”