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Italy played a 0-0 draw in second leg against Sweden at San Siro in their FIFA World cup Russia 2018 play-off, and loses 1-0 aggregate to hand their qualifying berth to the visitors. It cost Azzurris €1 billion to their economy as their former president of Italy’s National Olympic committee (CONI) estimates.

It’s first time since 1958 that Italy has failed to qualify for World Cup finals. The four time World Cup champions exit witnessed three of their world cup winners announcing retirements from international football. Veteran goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, defender Andrea Barzagli and midfield maestro Daniele de Rossi hang their boots to end an era of Italian football.

It doesn’t only cost Azzurris directly as they failed to qualify for Russia 2018, but indirectly it affects their domestic football. Franco Carraro former CONI president told The42, “It will be roughly €500-600 million. We must see if we talk about direct or indirect. If it does, indirectly probably surpasses €1 billion, surely surpasses €1 billion.”

Italian Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio made his remarks on Italy’s coach Ventura situation as he 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.”

He adds, “If you think you should stay, you have to tell us exactly what you think. Ventura has what is called the objective responsibility of sports policy: When you expect a result and make 10% less, and then you make 80% less, it seems to be objectively difficult.”

It’s not only a sporting failure for Italy, it will cost their economic and social life. Italy’s football fans around the world are disappointed with four time champions failure and it’s definitely going to cost Azzurris’ economy directly or indirectly.


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