KEIR RADNEDGE in PARIS: Italian football’s 2014 Supercup has been added to Qatar’s steady and stealthy collection of sports events.
The staging, on December 22, was announced by Italian league president Maurizio Beretta at a football performance conference organised in Paris by the Qatari Aspire Academy.
Initially champions Juventus were due to meet cup-holders Napoli on August 24 but a postponement was necessary because of the latter’s involvement in the Champions League play-off round.
The Italian league and federation have an alternate year contract to play the Supercup in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium but there was no immediate home for the 2014 clash, traditionally considered a curtain-raiser to the season.
Beretta said: “Our Supercup is, traditionally, a high-level event so the idea of bringing in to such an interesting place for not only football but for all sport is very important.”
The Italians still have one supercup to play in China but Beretta did not rule out a long-term contract with the football association of Qatar which will, of course, host the Confederations Cup in 2021 and the World Cup finals in 2022 on dates still to be decided.
Juventus will be making a record 10th appearance in the Supercup and seeking a record seventh success. Both of Napoli’s two previous appearances have been against Juventus – a 5-1 win in 1990 and 4-2 defeat in 2012.
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