Gravina: "Let's not blame the lads. To win the play-offs Italy must get back to their best”

The federal president: "Our project does not end in Belfast. Mancini is right, if we qualify for the World Cup in March through hard work, maybe we will get there with more awareness"

Tuesday, November 16, 2021


Let’s not pin the blame on the boys and come back stronger for the play-off. I want to go to the World Cup, though I recognise that getting there is now a lot less straightforward. But Mancini is right and I remain optimistic, if we earn it in March with hard work and difficulties maybe we will get there with more awareness." This is what FIGC president Gabriele Gravina had to say about yesterday's draw in Northern Ireland that will force the national team to get through the play-offs to qualify for Qatar 2022.

"On an individual level we can't compete with other giants, we are a normal team that has done something extraordinary by winning European Championship," added Gravina. "Some moments have gone our way, now similar moments have gone against us in two key games and if you play two wild cards you struggle. Also, because physically and mentally we were beaten up. I'm not worried. The federation's planning is not settled on winning the European Championship or the World Cup. Our project does not end in Belfast. We have doubled the commercial value even in lean times, trying to be credible as managers and giving a good image of Italian football."

Regarding a possible rescheduling with Lega Serie A of the Serie A calendar around the time of the Azzurri play-offs, scheduled between 24 and 29 March: "We will do all that we can to make it happen, but it will be very complicated. January 30 is the only space available at the moment. We already asked the League to do some thinking about it this morning, but today they are very busy just like us."