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New Italy coach to be named on May 20th: Costacurta

Italy's new national coach will be named on May 20th, Italian football federation vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta said on Saturday.

New Italy coach to be named on May 20th: Costacurta
Interim manager Luigi Di Biagio is overseeing the Italian national team's friendly matches this week. Photo: AFP

Former AC Milan defender Costacurta has been given the job of finding a replacement for Gian Piero Ventura, who was sacked after Italy's shock failure to qualify for the World Cup last November.

And with under-21 boss Luigi Di Biagio in charge on an interim basis, the four-time world champions suffered defeat in their first game since, losing 2-0 to Argentina in Manchester on Friday.

“We will tell you the name of the new coach on May 20th,” said Costacurta, who told a press conference that Di Biagio remained among the potential candidates.

“If we have the opportunity to get someone better than Di Biagio, and I don't think there are many, then we will.”

Among the names being touted are Zenit St Petersburg coach Roberto Mancini, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, former Leicester coach Claudio Ranieri, now in charge of French club Nantes, and Carlo Ancelotti, who is available after being sacked by Bayern Munich.

“It's not easy to find someone able to do a perfect job, and we need to see what we have to do to build a team capable of qualifying for Euro 2020,” said Costacurta.

“I think it's more important to think about the players we have, because I doubt Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola would've done better yesterday.”

He added: “Di Biagio is a coach who has improved year by year climbing the ranks within the federation. It's very likely that he will either be the new coach or enter into the staff of the new coach.

“Gigi is very talented, I've been watching him closely and can confirm those within the Federation see the situation the same way I do.”

Italy play England at Wembley on Tuesday and have June friendlies lined up against France and the Netherlands.

READ ALSO: Italy reveals shortlist for new national football coach

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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