UEFA vice-president Michele Uva warns Italy have very little chance of winning the hosting rights to Euro 2028 and must sort out their stadiums.
“The issue of stadiums is a big problem,” Uva told Sportitalia.
“I hear talk of Italy’s candidacy for Euro 2028 hosts as the panacea to all ills, but in order to win the hosting rights, you need to have plans all ready to go.
“There are important stadiums that have been in a gestation period for four or five years and Europe is clearly observing. If they should end up with a competitor for the hosting rights that already have stadiums ready, then evidently that country would have the advantage.
“In my view, at this moment the conditions just aren’t there for Italy to be the candidates for Euro 2028. UEFA see Italy as one of the pillars of the European football system. Serie A is a reference point for its history and current form.
“However, seeing some stadiums half-empty in the last few rounds of the season does not reflect well.”
Most of the arenas in Italy have not been upgraded since they hosted the 1990 World Cup, with clubs including Roma, Napoli and Venezia openly battling the local councils to get new structures built, or at least the current stadiums reworked.
Others have succeeded in striking deals for 99-year leases on the grounds, including Juventus, Udinese, Cagliari and Atalanta.
Italy will host the European Under-21 Championship this summer, with the host venues the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara (Bologna), Mapei Stadium (Sassuolo/Reggio-Emilia), Stadio Dino Manuzzi (Cesena), Stadio Nereo Rocco (Trieste), Dacia Arena (Udine) and San Marino Stadium (San Marino).