San Siro stadium of ‘no cultural interest’, moves closer to demolition

A lone Inter Milan fan stands outside the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium (San Siro) after the league game against Sampdoria was cancelled because of the outbreak of COVID-19. (Reuters)
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Updated 22 May 2020

San Siro stadium of ‘no cultural interest’, moves closer to demolition

  • AC Milan and Inter Milan, who share the stadium, have launched their bid to knock down the San Siro and build a new 60,000-capacity home on the same site
  • Both clubs are former European giants with AC Milan having won the Champions League seven times while Inter were the last Italian team to win the European title in 2010

MILAN: Milan’s San Siro stadium is closer to being demolished after Italy’s heritage authority found that the iconic stadium cannot be protected for cultural or historic reasons.
“The property named Giuseppe Meazza Stadium (San Siro) has no cultural interest and as such is excluded from the protection provisions,” the Lombardy region of Italy’s cultural heritage ministry wrote in a report, according to the AGI news agency.
AC Milan and Inter Milan, who share the stadium to the west of the city, have launched their bid to knock down the San Siro and build a new 60,000-capacity home on the same site.
City authorities have been divided over the project and requested the opinion of Italy’s heritage authorities.
The report found that as the San Siro has undergone continuous transformation since being built in 1926, with only a small part of the original stadium remaining, it would not be subject to protection.
Although approval from Italy’s heritage body is not the final decision, it could be an important step toward both teams’ hope of redeveloping the site.
The clubs want to build a new ground adjacent to the current San Siro, while the old stadium would make way for an area “dedicated to sports, entertainment, and shopping.”
The two clubs presented their projects last September and estimated that it would require an investment of 1.2 billion euros ($1.34 billion).
Milan Mayor Guiseppe Sala insists he wants to renovate the existing stadium so that it could celebrate its centenary in 2026 by hosting the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics that year.
Both clubs are former European giants with AC Milan having won the Champions League seven times while Inter were the last Italian team to win the European title, when they lifted the trophy for the third time in 2010.
Neither have won the Serie A title since AC Milan triumphed in 2011.


India’s legendary Olympic hockey hero Singh dies at 95

Updated 25 May 2020

India’s legendary Olympic hockey hero Singh dies at 95

  • Singh was in teams that won the Olympic title in London in 1948 and Helsinki in 1952
  • Singh scored two of India’s goals at Wembley stadium and became one of the biggest stars of the Games

NEW DELHI: Balbir Singh, who won three Olympic hockey golds for India and became one his country’s biggest sporting heroes, has died at the age of 95, his family said Monday.
Singh was in teams that won the Olympic title in London in 1948 and Helsinki in 1952 and led the side that won in Melbourne in 1956. His five goals in the 6-1 defeat of the Netherlands in 1952 remain a record for an Olympic final.
India beat the former colonial power Great Britain 4-0 in the 1948 final which came only a few months after his country’s troubled independence.
Singh scored two of India’s goals at Wembley stadium and became one of the biggest stars of the Games. “I was on top of the world,” he said later.
“It was very special to beat the former rulers in their country.”
Singh was also the manager of the Indian side that won the 1975 World Cup. “He was a hard task master,” said Ajit Pal Singh, who was captain of the 1975 team.
“I still remember how he imbibed, self belief and unity which helped us to win,” Pal Singh told Press Trust of India news agency.
Singh was one of the key figures in India’s golden era of hockey dominance. The men’s team have not won an Olympic title since their eighth gold at the 1980 Moscow Games.
Singh had been in hospital after suffering three heart attacks in recent weeks.