Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Genoa hope for Euro 2012 bid

UEFA are considering expanding Euro 2012 to 24 teams and Genoa’s Stadio Luigi Ferraris is ready to join Italy’s proposal to host.

"There’s not a big difference between the quality of the 16th and 24th team in qualifying," insisted Franz Beckenbauer, a member of the UEFA Executive Committee.

"So I consider that to be a good proposal, whereas to double the size of the tournament would unbalance the playing field too much."

The nation chosen to host the 2012 games will be picked on April 18 and Italy are shortlisted along with joint bids from Poland-Ukraine and Croatia-Hungary.

So far eight Italian arenas have been inspected and plans drawn up for their inclusion, but the expansion of the Championship would see Genoa’s stadium also added to the proposal.

"The eight cities have already been chosen, but Genoa are among the four reserves," explained Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone.

"If UEFA do expand the tournament to 24 teams, then I do believe Genoa will be one of the venues, especially if it includes a grant for the construction of a new stadium."

Although the stadium, nicknamed Marassi, is one of the few to have passed the recent clampdown on security measures, Samp are eager to create another arena.

"According to our plans, the stadium would be built in an area near the airport that is currently not being used. We have already completed our exploratory studies and presented it to various investors. Next week there will be a series of meetings to select the groups interested in investing."

Italy will hand its final dossier to UEFA for the Euro 2012 bid on Thursday in Nyon. There would be three new stadiums built in Naples, Palermo and Turin along with the restructuring of venues in Rome, Milan, Florence, Udine and Bari.

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