Soccer: I'd quit if I were Tavecchio - Malagò (3)

System needs overhaul says Sports Minister Lotti

Soccer: I'd quit if I were Tavecchio - Malagò (3)

Rome, November 14 - The head of Italian sport said Tuesday that he would quit if he were Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) President Carlo Tavecchio after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. "I have spoken to Tavecchio and I asked him what he intended to do," said Giovanni Malagò, the president of Italian Olympic Committee CONI. "He told me that there would be a FIGC meeting tomorrow. As you know, it's up to the boss to take responsibility. If I were him, I'd resign". The Azzurri could do no better than a 0-0 draw against Sweden in Monday's playoff return, so they will not be going to next year's tournament in Russia after losing the first leg 1-0 on Friday. It is the first time the Italian national team has failed to qualify for the World Cup since 1958, marking an all-time low for the sport here. The press and sports pundits used words such as "apocalypse", "disaster" and "humiliation" to describe the four-time world champions' failure to qualify. Malagò added that he was powerless to intervene. "The CONI president can only put a federation in the hands of commissioners if its sporting justice or its championships do not work or for administrative irregularities," he said. "As of today, none of these three elements are present". Sports Minister Luca Lotti said that Italian soccer needs to be totally overhauled. "I didn't expect it. It was a very sad day from a sporting point of view," Lotti said. "The soccer (system) should be totally refounded. It is time to make the decisions that perhaps there was not the courage to take before. "This world should start over form the youth sectors up to Serie A".

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