Abete refuses to back Donadoni following Euro exit

June 23rd, 2008 - 7:50 am ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 23 (DPA) Italian football federation (FIGC) President Giancarlo Abete refused to say Sunday whether Roberto Donadoni would hold onto his job in the wake of Italy’s quarter-final penalty shoot-out loss to Spain at Euro 2008. The game was still scoreless at the end of extra time, but Spain progressed 4-2 on penalties after goalkeeper Iker Casillas saved the efforts of Daniele De Rossi and Antonio di Natale.

“I talked to Donadoni before this game. Obviously we hoped we would go through, and there was always a danger we wouldn’t,” Abete told a press conference at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna.

“We decided that directly after the game was not the right time for making a decision. We will meet in the coming days to decide the future.”

Before the tournament, Donadoni, who took over in 2006 from World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi, signed a new two-year contract with Italy until the 2010 World Cup. However, the deal included an escape clause if Italy failed to make the semi-finals in Austria and Switzerland.

“My evaluation is positive in terms of the quality of the squad,” said Abete. “But we are aware that we have not performed to our potential, and that could be down to a number of factors.”

Donadoni, meanwhile, said he was happy with how his players had performed at Euro and would accept whatever decision FIGC made.

“I have to accept any decision. I don’t know what else I can do,” he said.

“Everyone knows about the clause in my contract, but I am quite relaxed about it. Whatever the federation decides is fine by me.”

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