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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Italy Loses Bid To Host Euro 2012




Calcio Connection

18 April 2007


Today in Cardiff, Wales, UEFA, the European soccer governing body, caved in to recent concerns about violence in Italy. They awarded the Euro 2012 tournament to Poland and Ukraine, which will mark the first time that Eastern Europe has ever hosted such an important soccer competition.
Italy has the best European pedigree in football: Four World Cup championships, along with one European Cup title. They have hosted the World Cup on two occassions (1934 and 1990), and the European Cup in 1968 and 1980. Due to the acts of a small minority who are not soccer fans, but thugs who come to stadiums to foment violence, Italy, one of the most passionate soccer nations of Europe, will not host this event. A few major voices of Italian calcio commented on the decision: Marcello Lippi, coach of the World Cup winning team in Germany:

“I am very disappointed, especially because we presented our bid with great enthusiasm," said Lippi after Italy’s defeat in Cardiff today. 'There is really nothing more I can say… I don’t know the parameters used to take this decision. UEFA simply might have wanted to involve new countries in the world of football.' ” (1)

Italian Football Federation President Giancarlo Abete has defended the peninsula’s bid by insisting the outcome was mainly motivated by political reasons. "We have to accept the executive committee’s decision. In life you win and you lose, it is important to compete fairly," said the FIGC chief. 'It is a political decision and I hope it is due to the fact that UEFA want sporting competition to expand.' " (2)

Gigi Riva, Italian National Team manager, a respected voice of Italian soccer, and a special envoy of the Italian FA:

“Poland and Ukraine are countries that need to develop from a footballing point of view,” said Rombo di Tuono (Rumble of Thunder, which was his nickname as a player). 'We have a clear conscience and did all we could. We have many matches to win in Italy, some even more important than Euro 2012. The past few months have not been easy for us and we have had to face some embarrassing situations. We won the World Cup and that is an excellent medicine, but there are still many things that need to be healed.' ” (3)

This event will be significant for Poland and Ukraine. In terms of tourism, along with infrastructure improvements to existing stadia, and development of new facilities. The vote by UEFA was 8 to 4. The Croatia/Hungary joint bid did not receive a single vote.


References
(1, 2, and 3) Lippi Leads Italian Disappointment. Football Italia, 18 April 2007.

---- Steve Amoia for AC CUGINI CALCIO CONNECTION

1 comment:

wilablog said...

It is unfortunate that Italian soccer is still struggling with scandal and violence. It has an incredible history. It's not alone though - it is odd how fan violence seems to be associated with soccer. I wonder if other sports in that part of the world have similar issues? If not, what is it about soccer that causes these events? Odd.

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