Monday November 15 2010
Prandelli: 'I won't abandon Cassano'

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli believes Antonio Cassano must be helped and says that he doesn't intend to abandon the troubled Sampdoria star.

The Italian FA officially started arbitration proceedings to cancel Cassano's contract today for "insubordination and gross misconduct" at Sampdoria's request.

Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone will not forgive the 28-year-old following a training ground bust-up in October and is more than prepared to lose an asset worth £10m on a matter of principle.

Cassano wasn't included in Cesare Prandelli's recent Italy squad, but the Coach of the Azzurri doesn't want the player to lose heart.

"We had always said that Antonio was a player who needed to be helped to grow in difficulties," Prandelli explained.

"We believed that he had resolved his problems through his marriage and his expecting a child.

"Now I don't know what could have happened, but I will not abandon Antonio."