Thursday May 15 2014
Abete: Prandelli deal soon

Giancarlo Abete says Cesare Prandelli’s new Italy deal is all but official, as he plays down controversy on the World Cup squad and the code of ethics.

The CT and Abete have both already confirmed that a deal for a two-year contract extension for Prandelli has been agreed, to commit the Coach to the national team until July 2016.

For the Italian Football Federation’s President, the announcement to make official this news is imminent.

“With Prandelli there is an agreement for a two-year renewal and the discussion is at a close,” Abete has told reporters today.

“We will formally announce the decision in the next few days, but it is as if we have already signed.

“Prandelli has done very well, finished second in the European Championships and third in the Confederations Cup.”

Abete was asked for his view on Prandelli’s 30-man provisional squad, which has raised debate over a handful of players omitted and some of those included.

“I do not comment on his squad, but it is normal that there will be disappointed players.

“Everyone wants to wear the Azzurro shirt and in recent months there has been a growth on a part of some of the younger players and this will make the choices for the CT more difficult.

“The controversy in the player selection is always there. Personally I am not surprised - there have been some new entries with respect to four or five months ago, but you knew that someone would enter into contention.”

Giorgio Chiellini is in the squad despite picking up a three-game ban for catching Miralem Pjanic with an elbow during Juventus’ win at Roma last weekend.

The decision to call up the Juve defender has raised debate further on the code of ethics Prandelli has implemented with the national team.

“Both myself and Prandelli have always said that the code of ethics has nothing to do with sporting law, which among other things has varying degrees of judgement.

“They are two completely different things - it is an assessment that the Coach has full autonomy over and even this is subject to criticism.”

Abete commented also on recent events in Italy, including disturbances in the run-up to the Coppa Italia Final and then Atalanta fans racially abusing Milan’s Kevin Constant.

“There are different rules from country to country and there is more power for clubs where they own their own stadium.

“In Italy the reference is only the Daspo [Bans of access to sporting events], which are growing in number, but still not enough to eliminate certain behaviour.

“The public is rightly in the hands of the government and we ask that there is greater strength and that they can heavily penalise such people.

“Life bans? There is a willingness on the part of the Minister of the Interior to combat acts in terms of greater duration, they must find compatibility within our regulatory framework.”

Attention then turned back to the World Cup and who Abete believes is in contention to win it.

“Brazil and Spain are favourites, the first because they are the hosts of the World Cup, and that no European team has ever won the competition in South America.

“And the second because they come into this from a series of extraordinary wins.”