Italian Football Federation President Giancarlo Abete has dismissed fears of Spain and Croatia doing a deal to eliminate Italy from Euro 2012.
The Azzurri are in the same situation heading into the final round of Group C matches as they were in Euro 2004, knowing that a 2-2 result in the group’s other game would eliminate them from the competition, regardless of their result.
However, Abete, who watched Italy’s 1-1 draw with Croatia from the stands in Poznan yesterday, believes it is unlikely that lightening will strike twice, and the Azzurri need to maintain focus.
“We must have the highest concentration on Ireland,” he insisted to Rai.
“We would be making a big mistake psychologically and in substance if we don’t understand that we have to beat Ireland and that we should not be concentrating elsewhere.
“Football is accompanied by controversy and suspicion, but we must be focused on our goal. We begin by closing the round with five points and then we’ll see what happens.
“I also trust the words of [Spain Coach] Vicente del Bosque. Spain are European and World Champions and their top executives play a prominent role at the top of FIFA and UEFA. I am confident that theirs will be a real match with Croatia.
“Even so, we must set our priority and we cannot focus on things that are out of our hands.”