FIFA Women’s World Cup: Coach Bertolini resigns following Italy’s early exit

The 57-year-old had been in charge since 2017 with her contract running till the end of August.

Published : Aug 07, 2023 16:48 IST , Rome - 1 MIN READ

Italy’s coach Milena Bertolini during the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Italy’s coach Milena Bertolini during the FIFA Women’s World Cup. | Photo Credit: AP
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Italy’s coach Milena Bertolini during the FIFA Women’s World Cup. | Photo Credit: AP

Milena Bertolini is to step down as Italy’s women’s football coach after being criticised by her players as the Italians failed to reach the FIFA World Cup knockout stages.

The 57-year-old had been in charge since 2017 with her contract running till the end of August.

Her players had taken to social media following the shock 3-2 defeat by South Africa in their final group match, which put them on an early plane home, posting an open letter.

While it did not name Bertolini, it was plain at whom their criticism was aimed as they claimed though they had “not been scared, we felt a lack of confidence” and had “difficult (meetings) first at Euro 2022 and now this World Cup.”

Read: England advances over Nigeria on penalty kicks despite James’ red card

Bertolini, who guided Italy to the 2019 World Cup quarter-finals, posted a defiant message on Instagram late on Sunday as she bade farewell.

“The search for a scapegoat is too easy and obvious,” said Bertolini, a playing legend for her country who was capped 150 times.

“The risk is to get involved in in-fighting and not present a united front against our opponents.

“As a result, I feel no resentment, nor do I feel I am to blame, and I will not look for someone to blame.”

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