Italy coach Ventura axed after World Cup disaster

Italian despair at World Cup'apocalypse

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura was sacked on Wednesday (Thursday NZ time) as he paid the nearly inevitable price for their failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.

The veteran coach's fate was sealed after a crisis meeting of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) in Rome.

The 69-year-old took charge in July 2016, succeeding Antonio Conte, and guided Italy to second place behind Spain in their World Cup qualification group. "As the first point on the day's agenda, Tavecchio announced that, as of today, Gian Piero Ventura is no longer the coach of the national team".

Many Italian newspapers also called for the resignation of Tavecchio following the World Cup fiasco, but in Wednesday's statement, the FIGC said he had declined to quit.

Damiano Tommasi, the head of the Italian footballers' association, was quoted as saying: "Carlo Tavecchio has told us he does not intend to resign".


"The others haven't taken a position and said they'd decide in the future".

Ventura said his record was "one of the best of the last 40 years". You can tell Mourinho, United will pay you 12, 15 million euros per year and the Italian federation will pay you an extra one, two or three million euros to be our interim coach.

The Azzurri legend was speaking in the wake of his national side's shock failure to overturn their World Cup play-off first leg deficit against Sweden on Monday night in an interview with Sport360 (h/t the London Evening Standard).

Reports suggest Carlo Ancelotti is an early favorite to step in following his dismissal by Bayern Munich in September.

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