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Fabio Capello set for sensational Italy job meeting

Fabio Capello could be set for a sensational first appointment as Italy coach after Bologna put the brakes on Roberto Donadoni leaving the Serie A club to succeed Antonio Conte.

Fabio Capello set for sensational Italy job meeting
Fabio Capello Capello, who made his name at AS Roma and Juventus before subsequent stints as coach of Real Madrid and England. Johannes Eisele

Capello, who made his name at Serie A clubs Roma and Juventus before subsequent stints as coach of Real Madrid and England, has been out of a job since being sacked as coach of Russia last year.

The Italy hot seat is up for grabs after this summer's Euro 2016 finals in France after Conte announced he will return to club football. He has been linked to Chelsea for the past few months.

Donadoni, who was sacked by the Italian football federation (FIGC) after their poor showing at Euro 2008, has been the red hot favourite to replace Conte having turned Bologna's fortunes around this season.

But the FIGC may now have a fight on their hands if they are to prise the 52-year-old former AC Milan midfielder away from the Dall'Ara stadium.

Bologna president Joey Saputo suggested on Sunday Donadoni was going nowhere.

“Roberto has a contrat until 2018, so there's no problem: he's calm and determined and he knows he is a part of the club's development project.

“He has reiterated to me that he wants to remain with us.”

Although the FIGC are poring over other candidates, Capello has the highest profile of the bunch.

Despite his advancing years, the 69-year-old Capello will meet with FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio in the coming days, said Gazzetta dello Sport.

Italy host Spain – who beat the Azzurri 4-0 in the final of Euro 2012 – in a friendly in Udine on Thursday and then face Germany in Munich on Tuesday as preparations for Euro 2016 continue.

Conte announced last week he would not extend his stay with Italy after the tournament.

He is being linked with the Chelsea job following the sacking of Jose Mourinho earlier this season, and Conte said Monday the return to club football is the priority.

“The thought of staying away from club football for another two years is something that doesn't appeal to me,” he said.

British and Italian media reports claim struggling Premier League champions Chelsea have since signed an agreement with Conte.

But Conte has not committed to Stamford Bridge yet either: “We'll see what the future holds for me. Chelsea is not a taboo subject, but there are Italian options open to me as well.”

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FOOTBALL

Euro 2020: Concern about virus spread after Italy players’ ‘unauthorised’ victory parade through Rome

Italy’s national football team reportedly insisted on taking an open-top bus tour through Rome to show off their European Championship trophy to crowds of fans - despite city authorities forbidding it amid concern about the spread of coronavirus.

Euro 2020: Concern about virus spread after Italy players' ‘unauthorised’ victory parade through Rome
Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The team’s bus parade through the city on Monday night following their Euro 2020 triumph “was not authorised”, according to Matteo Piantedosi the head of Rome’s prefettura (the public safety authority).

Thousands of fans packed the streets of central Rome to see the team celebrate their cup win after beating England on penalties in the final.

READ ALSO: ‘Football came home’: Italy celebrates Euro 2020 victory over England

Piantedosi told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Wednesday: “We had denied permission to celebrate Italy’s victory in the European Championships on the open bus, but the pact was not respected.”

Piantedosi, who is Rome’s top public security official, said police had “no choice” but to let the parade go ahead after players Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci insisted on it.

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

A meeting had been held on Friday with the Italian football federation (FIGC) to discuss plans for the celebrations if Italy won, said Piantedosi.

“I had agreed the line with Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and Chief of Police Lamberto Giannini,” he said.

“It was clearly explained that [the parade] was not possible. We said we could not authorize it.”

Piantedosi said the Italian football federation (FIGC) initially agreed to hold a “controlled” ceremony in Rome’s central Piazza del Popolo instead of the parade.

After players insisted on the bus tour on Monday however, Piantedosi said, authorities reluctantly let them go ahead due to fears of sparking public disorder.

“At that point we had no choice but to acknowledge the situation and handle it in the best way we could,” he said.

READ ALSO: Covid cases on the rise in Europe once again as WHO warns of Euro 2020 risk

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

In a statement on Wednesday, the FIGC said it had acted responsibly but decided not to disappoint fans who had come to celebrate with the team.

Footage of large crowds thronging the bus carrying the ‘Azzurri’ and the European Championship trophy through the capital however fuelled concerns about new outbreaks of coronavirus, after Italy’s infection rate began to rise again last week.

The World Health Organization warned earlier this month that crowds and gatherings connected to football matches will fuel a new rise in cases across Europe this summer.

READ ALSO: Delta variant in Italy will be ‘prevalent within 10 days’: health official

Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza also voiced concerns on Monday about the consequences of people gathering to watch sporting events.

He said the European football championship win was “a great joy after terrible months,” but “even in these moments of national pride we can’t forget that our ‘game’ to defeat Covid is not yet won.”

There are currently minimal health restrictions in place across Italy, however masks are supposed to be worn in crowded public places, including outdoors.

“Footage shows that police were virtually the only ones [in the crowd] wearing masks,” said Piantedosi.

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