Italy likely to shun Milan for home playoff match

10 October at 16:30
A lack of ticket demand is likely to force Italy to play the home leg of their World Cup qualification playoff in Udine rather than the preferred Milan. After Italy’s unconvincing 1-0 victory over Albania on Monday, they secured a seeded position in next month’s playoffs and await their opponent.

Embattled manager Gian Piero Ventura’s men have disappointed throughout their qualification campaign, and the lack of inspiring play has led to an apathetic sentiment towards the team from Italians.

Preferably, the FIGC would choose Milan’s famed San Siro as the venue to host the home leg, but there doesn’t appear to be enough interest from Italians to warrant utilizing such a big stadium. A fear amongst Italian executives is that the Azzurri will be playing in an empty cavern have prompted them to likely choose the backup site in Udine.

Dacia Arena, Udinese’s pristine new stadium will likely host the November match. The 25,000 seats in Northeast Italy will be much easier to fill than the 80,000 of the San Siro. The lack of interest has to be disturbing to the FIGC, who have failed to recapture the glory of 2006 in the three subsequent World Cup cycles.

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