Under fire, Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has refused to resign following his team’s failure to qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup for the first time in 60 years. “I’m not resigning because I haven’t spoken with the (federation) president. We need to evaluate things. We’ll see. I’ll talk with the federation and confront the problem, he said. The 69-year-old, however, feels the need to apologise to Italians for the heartbreak. “I feel I have to apologise to Italians for the result,” he said.
Ventura who took charge of Italy’s side in 2016 as the manager is facing flak for his bad tactical decisions during an all crucial match against Sweden. The match resulted in a draw and earned Sweden a 1-0 aggregate victory over Italy fulfilling their Russia dream. The Italian coach added that he knows how to deal with such failures since he has been associated with football for a long time now. “I’ve been in football many years so I know how to accept it, I’m honored to have been a part of the national team and to have worked with great champions and with others that I hope will become great, he said.
This is only the second time in history that 4-time world champions Azzurri will be missing out on the prestigious tournament. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon who donned the Italian blues one last time against Sweden expressed the disappointment and said. “I am not sorry for myself but all of the Italian football. We failed at something which also means something on a social level. There’s regret at finishing like that, not because time passes. Those who’ve played know how hard these matches are. We weren’t able to express ourselves at our best. We lacked the composure to score. Play-offs are decided by episodes and they went against us but you can understand that when you’re at fault,” the Italian goalkeeper said after his farewell match. Buffon added that entire side would have to take responsibility for the failure and one single person should not be blamed for the loss.