Gravina: “Ours is a winning model, Mancini’s side is like a gift to all Italians”The President of the FIGC spoke to the press with the Azzurri’s three group games at UEFA Euro 2020 now played
Monday, June 21, 2021
Three wins from three, qualification for the Round of 16 in first place in Group A, but - above all - an awareness of the enthusiasm around the Azzurri that will be a precious driving force during the re-opening of the country. Meeting journalists at “Casa Azzurri”, Gabriele Gravina spoke of a "winning model in Italian football”, underlining how the energy and passion that all Italians are feeling for Mancini’s team goes far beyond just the recent on-pitch results.
“The images of the team celebrating on the pitch and thanking the fans - said the President of the FIGC - left its mark on all of us. I think that this team is a gift to the country and all its citizens, who have undergone so many months of pain and suffering. This is the Italy of which we dream, the Italy that the fans want; the game-plan and the collective spirit are the un-deniable protagonists. It would be gravely remiss to think that all this has been generated simply by the last three victories. This energy, in fact, comes from an exciting, well-organised journey that has lasted three years now.”
The numbers rarely lie; over 42 million people have tuned in to watch the team since the start of the Euros. On social media, too, the number of people that follow the Azzurri has increased by half a million in a couple of days, with new profiles also launched in Arab and Chinese: “This is, in multi-faceted ways, a winning model that we have in Italian football - explained Gravina - the value of which is, of course, helped by results on the pitch.”
Denying that the semifinals and final of the European Championship could be moved from London to Rome, Gravina outlined how he will ask for a larger number of fans in the stands for the quarter-final at the Stadio Olimpico: “The hard work we are doing across institutions, with the FIGC at the head of that, has brought us the greatest victory of all: bringing fans back into stadiums safely! All this seemed impossible one month back, but now it is our brilliant reality. You have all been a testament to how much sharing and participation there can be in football: almost 48 thousand people have watched games in the Olimpico, with perfect regulations and the highest possible levels of safety. I want to thank everyone who has made that possible, particularly the staff and volunteers, from emergency services to health officials who have all contributed greatly to the smooth running of the events. The success of our Fanzone in Rome also deserves a mention.”
Ahead of the Round of 16 game, Gravina commented on the current COVID restrictions that could provide an obstacle - with the players, media and fans due to travel to London for the match: “We are doing all we can to try to get an exemption to the five-day quarantine rules for the Azzurri and all those in the entourage travelling for the game. Otherwise we risk reducing not only the communication process a lot, but also the organisational aspect of the tournament."