The 2014 FIFA World Cup Group B qualifier between Italy and Malta will be played at the Stadio Alberto Braglia in Modena on September 11. The decision was taken by the FIGC, as a sign of solidarity towards the earthquake-hit victims in Emilia.
The decision was backed by local authorities, after FIGC president Giancarlo Abete spoke to the mayor of Modena, Giorgio Pichi, expressing the willingness to play in the region which was hit by an earthquake. The stadium in Modena is the only one in Emilia that fulfils all the necessary requirements set out by FIFA and UEFA to stage official international football matches.
FIGC president Giancarlo Abete said, “The Azzurri will play in Emilia, as every single one of us wanted Italy to play there. Officials, coaches, players. We all wanted to show our heart-felt affection for the people who have suffered due to the earthquake. Everyone is aware that the FIGC and the entire footballing community will be involved is a series of initiatives to help restore the sporting arena that have been damaged by the earthquake.”
For Malta this will be the first game away from home in Group B. Malta plays the first game against Armenia at Ta’ Qali on September 7.