Date: 14th November 2017 at 1:17am
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Italy Gianpiero Ventura has insisted that he will speak to the FIGC before deciding whether or not to stay on as Azzurri coach.

Sweden knocked Italy out in their World Cup playoff match, winning 1-0 on aggregate, ensuring Italy miss their first tournament since 1958.

“I have to think about a number of issues, and will meet with the FIGC to discuss them,” Ventura told the press. “We will speak as we have always done in the past. I have a good relationship with [FIGC President Carlo] Tavecchio and the entire Federation.

“Of course I apologise for the result, but not for the effort and hard work. I do realise that the result is the most important thing.

“Tonight’s game showed that there was nothing broken with the national team. All I can do now is apologise to the nation for the result, but that doesn’t affect the professionalism, the hard work or the effort we put into the campaign.”

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli and Daniele De Rossi have all now retired from international football following the defeat.

“The fact that Buffon, Barzagli and De Rossi are retiring, was something we already knew,” Ventura went on “The World Cup was at stake, the World Cup for them, and everyone else, including my own World Cup.

“I’m disappointed, and the extent of this disappointment has been expressed individually to the players. My biggest fault was that until the first leg in Sweden, we were exactly where we expected to be.

“The fault is in that we went out without conceding a goal, effectively, as it was a deflection.

“I’ve been in football for many years, so I can accept that argument. Any other comments are entirely futile. I cannot say more than I have already said.”