UEFA: We understand Italy's frustration, but Euro 2012 dates were decided three years ago

The organization director has insisted there is not much that can be done about die Mannschaft's two extra rest days, as it is a result of decisions that were made long ago.
UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti understands Italy's frustration with the Euro 2012 schedule ahead of its semi-final encounter versus Germany, but stressed that there is no conspiracy against the Azzurri as the calendar was put together three years ago.

Germany has enjoyed a five-day rest after its quarterfinal win over Greece, whereas the Italians have had to settle for a three-day break, but Marchetti insists this is just a consequence of how the tournament was planned.

"I can understand [coach Cesare] Prandelli's frustration. He would probably have preferred a bit more rest. However, the tournament schedule was put together three years ago, when it wasn't even yet known which teams would be seeded," Marchetti said told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We are aware of the problem, and it's not new. Remember Euro 2000 when Italy had one more day rest than Netherlands. In 2008, teams could meet the same team from the group stages in the semifinals again. However, having two quarterfinals on the same day would be a bad thing for the spectators. We are already looking at solutions to this problem for Euro 2016, though."

Thursday's match between Germany and Italy kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET.

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