The most inevitable news of this week is now official: Giampiero Ventura has been sacked as Italy’s national team manager after they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
Italy not reaching the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958 was always going to have this outcome.
Following Italy’s 0-0 draw at home against Sweden on Monday, which sealed their elimination from the World Cup after a 1-0 playoff defeat across the two legs, Ventura failed to hand in his resignation as he wanted to speak with officials at the Italian Football Association (FIGC).
The 67-year-old did that on Wednesday and was fired. Below is a statement from the FIGC.
“During a meeting called by FIGC president Carlo Tevecchio… the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was discussed. As the first order of business Tevecchio revealed the release of the entire technical team and, from today onwards, Gian Piero Ventura is no longer coach of the national team.”
His boss at the Italian FA, Carlo Tavecchio, is also said to be in a perilous position as the four-time World Cup champs are reeling from missing out on the World Cup tournament for just the third time in their history.
Ventura took charge of Italy in the summer of 2016 after Antonio Conte left for Chelsea and had a deal through the 2018 World Cup.
Early favorites to take charge of the Azzurri are Carlo Ancelotti and current Chelsea boss and former Italy coach Conte, while Roberto Mancini and Massimilliano Allegri are both said to be contenders for the position.