Wednesday March 21 2012
Abete: Italy worse off for Euro 2012

The Italian FA’s (FIGC) President Giancarlo Abete has warned that Italy will be worse off without the planned training sessions that Cesare Prandelli wanted.

Prandelli and the Italian game’s governing body formally requested to the Lega Calcio last week that a set number of dates in the fixture list would be set aside for the Commissario Tecnico to work with groups of prospective players aiming to get into the Euro 2012 squad.

However, the League turned down the request last Friday, suggesting that the request came too late in year for them to consider it.

Following on from his outburst at Serie A for this decision, Abete has spoken to La Gazzetta dello Sport in detail about the incident.

“Ours was simply a request to grant more attention to the national team and to a Coach whose ethical image is otherwise appreciated,”

“I cannot nor do I want to turn these into obligations, which they are not.”

Abete was talking at the UEFA Executive meeting designed to improve relations between federations and their clubs.

“It is ridiculous to say that the Football Association has asked for the availability of [players for] these sessions only on the Friday morning. Did they not think we were interested in this before?

“We talked to the council on March 7, we spoke about it for months, but we only formalised the request after the end of Champions League and Europa League commitments. This was out of respect for the clubs.

“We’re not asking for a favour in return to give another. The argument is not about any commodity, never. If in order to protect the public interest I am put into debt - I’m there. It would be more risky to go to Poland without this extra experience [for the players].”