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Italy still keen on Conte reunion

Italy
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 By Ben Gladwell

Italian FA set to decide Gian Piero Ventura's fate on Wednesday

Gab Marcotti is given the floor to share his true feelings on Italy's failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Gian Piero Ventura confirms he has not resigned as Italy coach, despite failing to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
Gab Marcotti and Craig Burley go back and forth on how much Gian Piero Ventura is at fault for Italy missing the World Cup.

Italian FA (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio says he is "profoundly saddened and disappointed" by Italy's failure to qualify for the World Cup as he called a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the future.

A goalless draw with Sweden in Milan on Monday was not enough to prevent Italy from failing to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1958 and questions are being asked of Tavecchio and, in particular, of head coach Gian Piero Ventura.

Ventura will reportedly be sacked, if he does not resign, but Tavecchio said that a meeting "with all components of the federation" would determine what the FIGC's response would be to the Squadra Azzurra's historic failure.

"We are profoundly saddened and disappointed to have failed to qualify for the World Cup, which is a sporting failure which needs a joint solution and this is why I have called a meeting with all components of the federation tomorrow to make an in-depth analysis and decide upon future choices," Tavecchio said on the FIGC's website.

Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte, Roberto Mancini and Massimiliano Allegri are all being linked with replacing Ventura, who succeeded Conte following Euro 2016.

Prior to Italy's 3-0 defeat to Spain in September, Ventura had overseen Italy's best World Cup qualifying record in history, with an average of 2.66 points per game -- more than Arrigo Sacchi (2.41), Marcello Lippi (2.35) and Giovanni Trapattoni (2.25).

After losing to France on his debut, Ventura's Italy went on a run of seven wins and two draws prior to their defeat in Madrid. After that result, Italy scraped past Israel and Albania 1-0 and were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Macedonia, prior to the 1-0 defeat in Sweden and goalless draw in Milan on Monday.

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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