By Giuseppe Martina and Stefano PizzoliAlessandro Pessina/ReutersLAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Milan and Paris have agreed to extend the contract to 2024, with the two cities looking to move into the 2024 World Cup in the event of a conflict between their clubs, the Italian football association said on Thursday.
The agreement with Paris comes as a further complication for the two European champions who have faced fierce criticism from their northern rivals, who have been embroiled in a bitter dispute over the future of a proposed $1.8 billion stadium in Paris.
Milan and Paris signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to extend their existing contracts for 2024, which expires in 2021, to 2026.
Paris, whose owners are the French government, has said it wants the 2026 contract extended for 2024 as well.
Milano, which won the Serie A title in the 2010-11 season, and Paris are also set to face the World Cup finals in 2022 and 2023 in Brazil and France.
The French clubs’ bitter rivalry has been stoked by a dispute over ownership of the new stadium, which is in the works in Paris but has not been completed.
In a letter to Milan and the French club’s owners, Paris’s chief executive Laurent Fournier wrote: “Milan is an important partner for us.
Paris and Milan have shared the experience of the last four years in the best possible way.”
Fournier said the two clubs had agreed to continue working on the deal, which was approved by a vote of both clubs on Monday.
“We are satisfied with the progress that is being made, and we thank all the parties who have played an important role in this process,” Fourniers letter said.
“The two clubs will now look forward to signing the extension for 2024 and the renewal for 2026.”
In February, Paris agreed to buy back the 50 percent of the land on the site, but Paris still needs to win a court order to complete the project.
The club, however, has been trying to sell the land to the Paris-based French construction firm.
The deal would see the construction of the 2023 stadium complete and be completed by 2020.