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Milan boss fears sack after Italian Cup defeat to Juventus

AC Milan coach Cristian Brocchi admits his job is on the line after an Italian Cup final defeat by Juventus ended the Serie A giants’ hopes of European football next season.

Milan boss fears sack after Italian Cup defeat to Juventus
AC Milan's coach Cristian Bronchi during yesterday's Italian Cup final. Photo: AFP

An inspired Milan dominated the Stadio Olimpico clash in Rome but fell to an extra-time winner by late substitute Alvaro Morata, who beat ‘keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma from 10 yards from Juan Cuadrado’s chipped pass to secure a 1-0 victory.

It meant Juventus became the first team in Italy to win the double twice in succession, and the Europa League spot that normally goes to the Cup winner was handed to sixth-placed Sassuolo.

Milan, who had finished two points behind in seventh, will focus on domestic duties next season.

Amid reports the club are set for a takeover by a Chinese consortium, Brocchi says his future, too, is unclear.

“What will be, will be,” Brocchi said. “I haven’t had the chance to speak to the president. I imagine he’ll be disappointed with the defeat, but not with the performance.

“We gave it everything and I am sorry we couldn’t win.”

Reports suggest former Roma coach Rudi Garcia and ex-Empoli handler Marco Giampaolo are in line to succeed Brocchi, the club’s former youth team coach who replaced Sinisa Mihajlovic with six games to play. 

Probed by media as he left the stadium, Berlusconi gave little away.

“We’ll see,” said Berlusconi, although a complete overhaul could be in the reckoning if Berlusconi sells a majority stake in the club he bought in 1986 and helped steer to five of their seven Champions League titles during their 1990s heyday.

Ironically, it was following the sacking of current Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri in January 2014 that Milan’s fortunes began slipping.

Allegri, who steered the Rossoneri to their last league title in 2011, has since led Juventus to two successive doubles and a Champions League final, while Milan have appointed no less than four coaches — Clarence Seedorf, Filippo Inzaghi, Sinisa Mihajlovic and now Brocchi — as they bid to stop the rot.

After another forgettable season, fans of the seven-time European champions will be hoping fresh investment can transform the club.

A Chinese consortium is studying the club’s financial records and statements with a view to puchasing a majority stake, having signed exclusive negotiating rights with Berlusconi’s holding company Fininvest earlier this month.

“Fininvest has reached an agreement with a group of Chinese investors in establishing exclusive negotiating rights for the sale of shares of AC Milan,” said a club statement on May 10.

“A memorandum of understanding has also been signed which will act as a starting point for more in depth negotiations to take place.

“The exclusive negotiating rights have been established to be compatible with the complexities of the talks, the needs of the club and the appointments scheduled in the footballing calendar.”

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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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