NEWS
Thursday November 6 2014
Albertini: 'Lotito has the power'

Demetrio Albertini launched a scathing attack on FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio. “Claudio Lotito wields more power.”

Albertini is a former Vice-President of the Federation who resigned last month, having lost the election for President to Tavecchio in August.

“Why did the clubs vote for Tavecchio? I don’t know,” he told SportItalia this evening.

“For some years we have become focused on overseas markets rather than growing our own talents in-house. Other countries build foundations, while as soon as we find a good player we immediately sell him abroad.

“We are forming players for other Leagues rather than our own, whereas I feel we ought to be self-sufficient.”

Discussing this topic and the need for work permits on foreign players to ensure they had the quality to improve Serie A, Tavecchio made a racist gaffe by referring to made-up player “Opti Poba who one day was eating bananas and the next was playing in the Lazio team.”

Despite that phrase, Tavecchio was still elected as the new President of the Federation and received a ban from UEFA.

“That put us in a difficult position on the world stage, so the UEFA and FIFA sanctions were only normal,” commented Albertini.

“That famous phrase was said before the election, yet he was still voted in. He was considered suitable to the role.”

Tavecchio’s biggest backer was Lazio President Lotito, who seems to be ever-present at FIGC events and is referred to as something of a ‘puppet master.’ So who wields more power, Tavecchio or Lotito?

“I think Lotito,” replied Albertini. “He represents a large chunk of Serie A, was nominated their representative in the Federation and has every right to push forward his ideas that, in theory, ought to be everyone’s ideas and not just his.

“Milan? Galliani did not support me in the election, so we probably don’t share the same ideas or there were timing issues. During an election campaign there are continual discussions. When some Serie A Presidents change their minds every five minutes, it all becomes rather difficult.

“Did someone turn their back on me? Some implied support only to then make different decisions.”

Albertini outlined his proposed plans for the future of Italian football, which were rejected by clubs.

“The most important is certainly to form players in-house. The use of satellite clubs and connections such as this season between Inter and Prato can be suitable solutions.

“We could have Coverciano act as a strategic centre to form the next generation of Coaches. Finally, look at the percentage of the vote that goes into the decision-making process. As things stand, the Lega Pro and Serie D can on their own decide the President of the FIGC.”

Albertini had offered his resignation from the FIGC before the World Cup in Brazil, whereas former President Giancarlo Abete quit straight after their first round exit.

“There wasn’t the right mix of young and old, so the team didn’t create a solid group that you need in moments of difficulty.

“Was Mario Balotelli not dealt with properly? In terms of the Federation, there were no issues, but the locker room is down to the Coach and his staff.

“What I personally think is that Balotelli didn’t arrive ready to play the World Cup. He must learn to stay within a group and once he manages that he’ll be able to show all his talent.

“Cesare Prandelli was absolutely not a mistake. We mustn’t forget he took us to the Euro 2012 Final and third place in the Confederations Cup.”

Tavecchio appointed Antonio Conte as the new Italy Coach, so would Albertini have made the same choice?

“It would’ve been impossible not to at least ask. In any case, there were other very important tacticians available, like Mancini, Allegri, Zaccheroni and Spalletti. Being a national team manager is very different to the job of a club Coach.” 

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