Italy sack Gian Piero Ventura after failure to qualify for World Cup
• Ventura leaves post after 16-month tenure as manager
• Italy failed to make World Cup finals for first time in 60 years
The Italian Football Federation has sacked manager Gian Piero Ventura after the 1-0 aggregate defeat by Sweden in the World Cup play-offs meant the national team failed to qualify for the finals for the first time in 60 years.
They announced in a statement on Wednesday night that the 69-year-old’s 16-month reign was over.
Not so ace Ventura
Italy 1-3 France (1 Sep 2016)
An inauspicious start to his tenure as his side are comprehensively second best in a friendly
Spain 3-0 Italy (2 Sep 2017)
A defence renowned for being tight is torn apart at the Bernabéu, with Isco scoring twice to leave Italy staring at the prospect of a play-off
Italy 1-1 Macedonia (6 Oct 2017)
Italy must win to have any chance of qualifying automatically but a lifeless display leads to the world's 85th best team equalising in the 77th minute, causing an eruption of booing at the final whistle in Turin
Sweden 1-0 Italy (10 Nov 2017)
Italy lack invention and barely threaten the Sweden goal as a deflected Jakob Johansson strike is enough to leave Italy on the brink of missing out on Russia 2018
Italy fail to qualify for World Cup for first time in 60 years (13 Nov 2017)
Italy have 75% of possession and 23 shots on goal but look predictable. With the score 0-0, they desperately need a goal but Ventura leaves the creative forward Lorenzo Insigne on the bench. The final whistle blows and Italy have lost 1-0 on aggregate. "Apocalypse, tragedy, catastrophe," says the Italian press
Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
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“At the meeting convened by the chairman, Carlo Tavecchio, which was attended by the presidents of the federal members a discussion was had following the failure of the national team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
“As a first point on the agenda, Tavecchio communicated a decision of the technical guidance committee, and to date, Gian Piero Ventura is no longer the national team head coach,” the statement read.
Mutiny on the bench symbolic of Italy’s swift decline under Ventura
The decision was taken shortly after a stormy meeting in which the Footballers’ Association president, Damiano Tommasi, walked out shortly after asking Tavecchio if he intended to resign. The answer was no.
Ventura said after the Sweden match: “I apologise for the result but not for the effort and hard work. I do realise the result is the most important thing.”
A decision is yet to be taken on who will succeed Ventura.
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