Italian FA president Carlo Tavecchio has resigned a week after Italy’s World Cup qualifying fiasco, an FIGC official confirmed on Monday. The 74-year-old handed in his resignation during a crisis meeting of the Italian Football Federation in Rome.
“He informed us of his resignation,” Damiano Tommasi, the head of the Italian Players’ Union, told journalists outside the federation headquarters.
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“Tavecchio took note of a change of scenario and the fact that some elements that in the past had supported him had some difficulties renewing this confidence,” added former FIGC president Giancarlo Abete, a member of the federal council.
Tavecchio had been under increasing pressure to step down after Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup last Monday, but he resisted promising to rebuild Italian football from grassroots level upwards.
Tavecchio was elected president of the FIGC after a landslide vote in his favour in 2014 that saw 18 of the 20 Serie A clubs back him.
“I’m sorry,” Tavecchio told reporters.
“I’m leaving because I failed. I apologise to all Italians. Now is the time for Italian football to embark on a new era.”
Tavecchio had been keen to lay the blame for Italy’s dismal qualification campaign at the door of Ventura, telling reporters on Sunday: “With a little intelligence, this debacle could’ve been avoided. The Swedish players are very tall and strong, so we should’ve approached them with a different philosophy.
During the 2014 FIGC campaign, Tavecchio caused an outcry when he made a comment about a fictitious African player he named Opti Poba “eating bananas”.
He was subsequently banned from holding any position with world governing body FIFA for six months while European body UEFA imposed a similar sanction. The FIGC, however, cleared him of any wrongdoing.