Napoli yet to request Bari stadium change for Champions League tie with Liverpool, say Uefa

Aurelio de Laurentiis, the Napoli president, claimed on Monday that the club's European home games could be played in Bari, 160 miles away from Naples

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Tuesday 11 September 2018 16:35 BST
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Uefa have not received a request from Napoli to move their Champions League home game against Liverpool to Bari, despite claims by the Serie A club's president.

Aurelio de Laurentiis said on Monday that he had sought permission from Uefa to move the Serie A club’s European home matches 160 miles away from Naples’ 60,000-seater Stadio San Paolo.

The San Paolo is owned by Naples’ local authority and is currently undergoing redevelopment. Though Napoli are still able to play at the venue, De Laurentiis is unhappy with the progress of the renovations and last month compared the stadium to a “toilet”.

De Laurentiis also owns SSC Bari and said on Monday that he wanted Napoli’s forthcoming Champions League fixtures to be relocated and played in the east-coast city, at Bari’s 58,000-seater Stadio San Nicola.

“For me, it’s a nightmare. Such a bad stadium limits the status of Napoli at an international level,” De Laurentiis said of the San Paolo, while speaking at the European Club Association summit in Split on Monday.

“In the meantime, I’ve asked Uefa to authorise us to play Champions League matches at Bari," he added. I’ll pay for 1,000 buses out of my own pocket so Napoli fans can attend the match.”

Liverpool are due to play at Napoli on 3 October in the first away trip of their Champions League campaign and De Laurentiis’ claim will have concerned those supporters that have already made travel arrangements.

Uefa, however, confirmed on Tuesday that they are yet to receive a request from Napoli to change venue for any of their three Group C home fixtures.

Paris Saint-Germain follow Liverpool to Naples on 6 November, with Red Star Belgrade visiting on 28 November.

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