Italian FA Head Backs Mancini Following World Cup Sendoff

Gabriele Gravina wants Roberto Mancini to stay on the Italy bench despite the shocking loss versus North Macedonia in the World Cup playoff: “The project continues and must be the cure for these major lacerations. We have shared extraordinary moments, and we must overcome this pain together. I am not afraid to show face. I have to say, once again, that the result was unfair.”

The president of the FIGC, the Italian Football Association, talked to Tuttomercatoweb: “I understand that we will be undermined in every possible way in the next few days. Criticism is the other side of the coin for us. I will not step down and I have to keep protecting this national team. We move forward with our heads held high. However, we are aware that, when you do not win, mistakes were made.”

Gravina showed his support for Mancini: “I hope he will continue with Italy. He has a commitment to us. I wish he will be able to move past this elimination and keep helming the national team. Personally, I still have a lot of energy left. “

Instead, he blasted Serie A clubs: “Our pool has shrunk in the last few years. Only 30 percent of players in the youth systems are Italian nowadays. There are some objective limitations. Our coaches have an impossible job when they have to make the call-ups. They try to valorize footballers that do not feature much with their own teams. I do not say that they are directly responsible for this result, but other nations have more human resources at their disposal. The sides tend to see international duties as a nuisance. They are resistant in every break, and they only care about their own interests. We need to have a more direct dialogue.”