Rome would reap rewards from Ryder Cup

Captain Paul McGinley celebrates Europe's 2014 victory

ROME- The Italian Senate’s alarming decision to remove an amendment, providing the 2022 Ryder Cup with 97 million euros, is a step in the wrong direction for sport in Italy. 

 The declaration has come in the midst of a concerning period for Italian sport. Rome’s recent withdrawal of its bid to host the 2024 Olympics and a decline in attendance at both Six Nations games and Serie A fixtures are worrying signs for Italian fans.

 Sport in Italy desperately needs something new to re-inject the passion and enthusiasm that was once so visible at sporting venues around the country.

 Golf can come to the rescue.

 The raw emotion and excitement that the Ryder Cup creates is something that anyone can appreciate. Its intensity and ferocity is made for the Italian people and the arrival of the event in Rome could galvanise a golfing revolution across the peninsula.

 The Senate’s potential lack of funding would jeopardise the success of a tournament that has never failed to reward its host. The Ryder Cup attracts some of the biggest crowds in sport; as well as reigniting the local economy, it would reignite the Italian love for live sport.

 In addition to being a grave financial error, the Senate would be demonstrating a lack of ambition by not supporting this electric biennial contest.  Not enough faith was shown in the Rome Olympics bid and it is critical that the same approach is not emulated here. On this occasion, faith must be put in a unique event that is watched by millions of people across the globe.

 If the competition goes ahead, the spotlight will be upon the magnificent Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, just outside Rome. The salivating prospect of thousands of fans taking to the fairways, sipping refreshments, as the best golfers in the world undergo an intense battle, cannot be passed up. Let us hope the Italian authorities come to their senses and that the home of gladiatorial bouts can witness another, unlike any it has seen before.