Italy FA boss backs Mancini to stay despite missing out on World Cup

Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina has backed coach Roberto Mancini to continue in his role despite the team failing to qualify for this the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini's side was feted as national heroes after it won the Euros in July 2021 but the team has crashed back to earth after missing out on the World Cup finals for the second time running.   -  Reuters

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina has backed coach Roberto Mancini to continue in his role despite the team failing to qualify for this year's World Cup in Qatar.

Italy, which did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup, missed out on the 2022 edition as well after it suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to North Macedonia in Thursday's playoff semifinal.

RELATED| Italy out of World Cup race: How many Euro winners have been there before?

Since lifting its fourth World Cup trophy in 2006, Italy has not played a knockout game in the World Cup, having only won one group stage match at the finals in that time.

"I hope Mancini continues with us," Gravina said.

"He has a commitment with us for this project. I hope he can shake off this elimination just like all the Italians and that he remains at the helm to continue our work together," he added.

The Azzurri were feted as national heroes after they won the European Championship in July 2021 but the team has crashed back to earth after missing out on the World Cup finals for the second time running.

RELATED| Italy misses 2nd straight World Cup after shock defeat vs North Macedonia

"Just as we accepted the praise last summer, we must accept the criticism coming our way, but I must try to protect this national team," Gravina said.

"We go forward with heads held high. We must not lose the enthusiasm of last summer... Criticism is fine, but we don't want the risk of doing even more damage," he added.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :