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Thursday, 02 July 2020

Ventura parts company with Italy after World Cup fiasco: Soccer Federation

Reuters , Wednesday 15 Nov 2017
Italy's coach Giampiero Ventura sings Italy's natioal anthem prior the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Italy and Sweden, on November 13, 2017 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. (Photo: AFP)
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Veteran coach Gian Piero Ventura is no longer in charge of Italy's national team, the Italian football federation (FIGC) said on Wednesday, two days after the side failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

It was not clear from the FIGC's statement if Ventura had been sacked or had resigned, but the president of the referees association Marcello Nicchi told reporters after a FIGC meeting in Rome that the coach had been "removed from his post."

Italy were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Sweden in the second leg of their European playoff on Monday, losing 1-0 on aggregate, and will miss the finals for the first time since 1958.

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

Instead, it said he would put forward "various proposals" at a forthcoming FIGC meeting, without giving further details.

Ventura replaced Antonio Conte following Euro 2016 and was initially given a two-year contract. In August, it was extended until the Euro 2020 tournament because the FIGC said it was happy with the team's progress.

On announcing Ventura's appointment, Tavecchio had described him as a "master of football".

Ventura has never won a major title or coached top tier teams such as AC Milan, Inter Milan or Juventus. He spent much of his career in the lower divisions, but enjoyed a long, steady career and had a reputation for nurturing young talent.

He also gained widespread respect following a five-year spell with Torino when he led them out of Serie B and to several decent finishes in the middle and upper half of Serie A.

Italy finished second in their European qualifying group behind Spain, forcing them to play off against Sweden for a place in Russia.

Ventura was in charge for 17 games with 10 wins, four draws and three defeats.

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