Milan's Euro Final pipe dream
Tue, 08 Oct 2013 08:22
It would be a shame if Italian rugby lost such a major opportunity
Milan's 80 000-seater San Siro stadium has been awarded the 2015 European Cup Final, even though the competition may not exist by then.
Following a decision taken in February 2012 to award the finals to Italy, the Board of ERC has now confirmed the iconic stadium as the venue for the 2015 Final, although the future of the competition still hangs in the balance.
With the English and French clubs threatening a breakaway in 2014 because they are unhappy with the structure of the tournament there is much uncertainty around whether the European Cup will still exist in its current form by 2015.
ERC Chairman, Jean-Pierre Lux, said: "We in are in a difficult period for European club rugby, and I too hope that a solution can be found and then we can look forward to 2015 and a celebration of 20 years of European club rugby in Milan. It would be a shame if Italian rugby lost such a major opportunity to promote the game in their country."
President of the Federazione Italiana Rugby, Alfredo Gavazzi, said: "We are especially proud that a European Cup final could be staged in Italy as this is a tournament which plays a key role in the continued development of our top clubs, and which also is critical for the progress of our national team."
Addressing the issue of the current negotiations, Gavazzi added: "Regarding the future, I do not believe that an Anglo-French competition would be in any way suitable. The six unions have stated that they wish to keep the European Cup, and they are absolutely united on this point of view.
"The Italian Federation also believes that it is crucial to keep four of our clubs in the Challenge Cup to allow our young players to develop. Overall, I am confident that an agreement can be reached," he said.
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