As the fallout from Italy’s failure to reach a World Cup finals for the first time in nigh-on 60 years continues to churn, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) have announced that they are now looking for a new president, as well as a new national team coach.
While he initially refused to budge, manager Giampietro Ventura resigned a few days after the Azzurri saw their final shot at earning a place in Russia go up in smoke with a two-leg defeat against Sweden in their World Cup play-off.
The pressure was then walloped on FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio to follow suit, what with him being the man who appointed Ventura in the first place.
As with Ventura, Tavecchio resisted the backlash at first but eventually gave in and announced his resignation after realising that his position had become untenable, subsequently calling a press conference on Monday to confirm his exit.
Throughout the briefing, Tavecchio’s demeanour could perhaps best be described as ‘animated-to-rancorous’ as the outgoing president reluctantly handed over his gun and badge with one last flourish of righteous indignation.
the Carlo Tavecchio resignation press-conference is absolute GOLD. Here’s a small part of the show: pic.twitter.com/KXgHuMcAkG
— Tarek Khatib (@ADP1113) November 20, 2017
Tavecchio’s farewell rant in Rome went on for quite a while, but presented here are a few of the more impassioned passages:
I have tendered my resignation, and as a mere political act, I have also asked the advisory board to do the same, but nobody did, so I was alone.
I got the feeling that I, with 18 years of experience, was no longer being fully backed. I did not hesitate for an instant.
Speaking in third-person, he then made sure to cement just who Tavecchio thinks is directly responsible for Tavecchio’s short-comings as FIGC chief:
I’ve never said this before because details of private meetings aren’t made public – yet now you must know that Ventura wasn’t selected by me alone but now I must pay for (hiring) Ventura.
I’ve always said that Tavecchio chose the national coach, but now you know that I didn’t choose him.
Pressed on the matter, Tavecchio then vaguely claimed that it was Marcelo Lippi who chose to appoint Ventura last year.
The 74-year-old was then asked if he had any regrets, to which he replied his only regret was to not sack Ventura at half-time during the Sweden game:
Did I make any mistakes? Yes, not intervening in the match at San Siro to change the coach.
Finally, speaking of short-comings:
Excuse me, this is not just a rant. I’ve always looked people in their face, in the good times and in the bad.
I am here and, if we had scored a goal (against Sweden), Carlo Tavecchio was a big man.
Let me say, I am still 1.71 metres tall.
Good to know you can still buy your trousers in the children’s’ section, Carlo.
You’ll always have that.