ROME (AP)The Italian government’s new sports minister has signed a letter to UEFA supporting the country’s bid to host the 2032 European Championship.

”Sustainable, long-term development of Italian sports venues represents one of the government’s priorities,” Andrea Abodi, the minister and the former president of Serie B, said in a statement released by the Italian soccer federation on Monday. ”Italy’s candidacy for Euro 2032 represents a fundamental factor in accelerating that process.”

Abodi’s letter will be attached to a preliminary bid dossier due at UEFA next week, which is required to include a statement of support from the government.

Final bid dossiers are due in March, with the host to be selected by UEFA in September 2023.

Italy won the Euros as host in 1968 and also organized the 1980 edition won by West Germany – plus four games of Euro 2020.

The last major soccer tournament held entirely in Italy was the 1990 World Cup and many of the country’s stadiums have not been renovated for more than three decades.

UEFA will also decide the host for the 2028 Euros next year.

There is a joint U.K.-Ireland bid for 2028, while Turkey is bidding for either 2028 or 2032, with Italy focused solely on 2032.

Russia had previously announced a declaration of interest for 2028 or 2032 but has since been removed from the process because of the war in Ukraine.

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