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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

Italy's World Cup flop could cost their economy €1 billion

No pressure on our lads tonight, so.

Italy: failed to qualify for the first time since 1958.
Italy: failed to qualify for the first time since 1958.
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

THE FORMER PRESIDENT of Italy’s National Olympic Committee (CONI) has revealed just how much Italy’s disastrous World Cup qualifying campaign is set to cost the nation’s economy, estimating a hit of around €1 billion.

Gian Piero Ventura’s side were held to a 0-0 draw by Sweden on Monday night, losing 1-0 on aggregate and ending their hopes of a place at Russia 2018.

It is the first time that Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup since 1958.

Furious reaction from supporters was followed by the retirement of World Cup-winning trio of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, defender Andrea Barzagli and midfielder Daniele De Rossi, marking the end of an era for Azzurri.

The disaster is set to cost the country, indirectly, around €1 billion.

“It will be roughly €500-600 million,” Franco Carraro said.

“We must see if we talk about direct or indirect. If it does, indirectly probably surpasses €1 billion, surely surpasses €1 billion,” Carraro said.

“[President of the Italian Football Federation, Carlo] Tavecchio said he took 48 hours of time – he must look in the mirror, he has to evaluate the situation, and if he thinks there are psychological and environmental conditions to do so, he has to stay.

“If you think you should stay, you have to tell us exactly what you think.

“Ventura has what is called the objective responsibility of sport policy: when you expect a result and make 10% less, and then you make 80% less, it seems to me objectively difficult.”

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De Rossi and Barzagli join Buffon in announcing Italy retirement

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Niall Kelly

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