NEWS » Discontent at World Cup failiure

Discontent at World Cup failiure

For the first time since 1958, Italy will be absent from the FIFA World Cup. Italian people are shocked and bewildered. For many it still seems unreal as the qualification to the World Cup has always been taken for granted. The country mourned its loss and many people commented that young talents had not been given the possibility to emerge, just as in all other key sectors of Italian economy. From this perspective, this crucial defeat would be the last straw for a country already in difficulty, not only economically but also for what concerns its old problems, namely, corruption, criminality, and lack of political cohesion.

The elimination from next year’s World Cup in Russia is going to have costly and long-lasting impact on Italian economy. It may cost the country about 1 billion euros. The daily business paper Il Sole 24 Ore, pointed out the expected lower revenue related to ad-sales during matches broadcast on TV and on the sponsorship of the national football selection in the years to come. The Italian team won’t play any official matches until the beginning of the qualifications for the next European Championship, after the summer 2018. That implies that other friendly matches will attract less interest and money at all levels, including sponsorship and television rights. The economic loss could be extended also to missed sales for travel operators organising holiday packages to Russia, and the profit made by betting companies, bars and restaurants across the country during the matches.

Italian politicians rode the wave of discontent. Matteo Salvini, leader of the Northern league blamed immigration saying that there are too many foreign players in Italian football. The ex-premier Matteo Renzi replied to Salvini saying that there are foreign players in many international teams and we all still remember the multiethnic French team that won the world cup in 1998, defeating Italy in the final. However, according to Renzi this latest historic defeat imposes a reflection, first of all for the president Tavecchio and the manger Ventura. 

Many Italians, interviewed after the defeat by Sweden in the World Cup play-offs, declared that their team deserved to be defeated. Some others said that the football team failure demonstrated the decline of the nation. Others blamed the Italian football federation which is failing to recruit best talents and is unable to manage its resources.

Some others felt more hopeful and pointed out that there is still a world cup competition to support: the female Italian football team. On twitter the l'hashtag #AzzurreSuRai1 is gaining ground. The female national team is going to play in the next days an important match to access to the world cup 2019 in France. Fingers crossed!

Giulia Lombardo

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