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Gian Piero Ventura sacked by Italy

Ventura sacked by Italy

16/11/2017 at 03:28Updated 16/11/2017 at 05:12

Italy have sacked manager Gian Piero Ventura after they failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Italy were beaten 1-0 on aggregate by Sweden in their World Cup play-off after finishing second in their qualification group behind Spain.

Ventura came in for a huge amount of criticism for a variety of issues: a perceived boring style, stubborn attitude and questionable use of some key players including Napoli duo Jorginho and Lorenzo Insigne.

After the failure to beat Sweden at home, the expectation was that Ventura would be relieved of his duties and that has proven to be the case with a statement from the Italian FA confirming the news.

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."

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.

Speaking to the press after the result against Sweden, Ventura was bullish about his record.

"Without Italy it will be an ugly World Cup, but unfortunately it is gone. What can I do?" Ventura told Le Iene.

Gian Piero Ventura and referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz

Gian Piero Ventura and referee Antonio Miguel Mateu LahozReuters

"I apologised to the Italians for the result. I still had some of the best results of the last 40 years. I lost only two games in two years."

Ventura was appointed in 2016 when Antonio Conte left at the end of the European Championships to take over at Chelsea.

He was previously the manager of Torino.