Head of the Italian football association Carlo Tavecchio resigns after world cup elimination
Italian football federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio resigned from his post on Monday, a week after the national team failed to qualify for the World Cup finals, Italian media reported.
Referees association president Marcello Nicchi told reporters that Tavecchio had quit during a meeting at FIGC headquarters in Rome, AGI news agency reported.
Tavecchio, 74 years, had been under pressure to step down after a goalless draw at home to Sweden meant Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1978.
He was initially elected in 2014 despite a campaign marred by six-month bans from both FIFA and UEFA for allegedly making racist comments about a hypothetical African player he named Opti Poba ‘who previously ate bananas and then suddenly becomes a first-team player with Lazio’.
The FIGC, however, cleared him of any wrongdoing. Once in charge, he was forced to deny being homophobic or anti-Semitic after comments which appeared in an audio recording on the website of Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in late 2015.
Since Italy’s failure to qualify, the FIGC have been having an overhaul from top to bottom after manager Gian Piero Ventura was sacked days following Italy’s goalless draw at home last week.
Tavecchio was in the midst of searching for Ventura’s replacement as he identified Chelsea boss Antonio Conte as a potential successor for the job.
Carlo Ancelotti has also been tipped to take the Azzurri forward following his departure from Bayern Munich at the end of September.
Veteran players also stepped down after failing to qualify for next year’s tournament in Russia, which saw the likes of Gianluigi Buffon and Daniele De Rossi announce their retirement.
Defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli also declared their retirement from international football last week.
Coach Gian Piero Ventura was sacked last Wednesday.