Russia 2018: Italian football boss says he’s not slept since knockout

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Giampiero Ventura. Sacked!

Italian football federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio said he has not slept since Monday’s failure to qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup, which he blamed firmly on coach Gian Piero Ventura.

Ventura was sacked on Wednesday, two days after a goalless draw at home to Sweden meant that Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Tavecchio, 74, is under pressure to follow suit but has so far stood his ground.

“The debacle was technical, the coach made the wrong technical choices,” he said in a trailer for a programme which will be broadcast by the Mediaset network on Sunday.

“We played the wrong way. Sweden’s players are nearly all over one metre 90 and we kept crossing the ball into the penalty area. We needed our small players, but they were on the bench.”

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