Milan to host the final that might never happen
October 7, 2013
The San Siro stadium in Milan will host the 2015 Heineken Cup final … assuming the tournament survives beyond the end of this season.
The ERC, the organisers of the tournament, said it recognised the final at the 80,000-capacity stadium would only happen "provided agreement on a new European club rugby accord for next season and beyond can be reached".
The decision to award the 2015 final to Italy was taken in 2012 and the board today confirmed the venue.
"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," said Italian board president Alfredo Gavazzi.
"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 Heineken 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 Amlin Challenge Cup to allow our young players to develop. Overall, I am confident that an agreement can be reached."
ERC chairman Jean-Pierre Lux said that this was "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."
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