Stadio Diego Armando Maradona to host ‘special event’ as Napoli closes in on Serie A glory

Featured image credit: SSC Napoli

SSC Napoli has announced its Stadio Diego Armando Maradona will host a special screening of tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) game at Udinese as the club prepares to celebrate its first Serie A title in over three decades.

Anticipation has been building in Naples over recent weeks, with city authorities making plans to accommodate the huge celebrations that will be sparked by confirmation of the league title.

Napoli is currently 18 points clear of second-place SS Lazio in the Serie A table and missed its first chance to celebrate after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to regional rival Salernitana on Sunday.

Napoli will travel to take on Udinese tomorrow, but could be crowned champions as soon as tonight if Lazio fails to defeat Sassuolo. Regardless of the outcome of this game, Napoli has announced a special event will be held at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona for tomorrow’s match.

Napoli fans will be able to watch the game inside their home stadium, with giant screens installed along the perimeter of the pitch. Napoli is charging €5 (£4.41/$5.52) for tickets in an effort to cover the expense of the venture, with all remaining proceeds being donated to charity.

Napoli president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, said, according to Gazzetta dello Sport: “We are having another eight giant screens installed to put two in front of each Maradona grandstand and therefore allow the Neapolitans to watch the match.

“There is an organisational and time problem for which a symbolic price of €5 will be requested. If there is any money left in the end, it will be given to charity. Furthermore, the party we had prepared will be held next Sunday for Napoli-Fiorentina.”

Napoli’s only Serie A titles to date came in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons, when the club was led by the talismanic Diego Maradona.

In December 2020, the Municipality of Naples approved the renaming of Stadio San Paolo in honour of the late Maradona. Following the death of the legendary Argentinian footballer at the age of 60, a campaign immediately started to rename the stadium in which he helped propel Napoli to its two Serie A titles during a memorable seven-year spell from 1984 to 1991.

Mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris said that the San Paolo should be renamed after Maradona, who also led Argentina to FIFA World Cup glory in 1986. The move required an exemption to a law that stated a street or building can only be renamed after someone after 10 years have passed since their death.