Italy Raring To Go At Euro 2020 After World Cup Failure – Chiellini

In this handout image released by UEFA Italy’s defender Giorgio Chiellini holds a press conference at the Olympic Stadium in Rome on June 10, 2021 on the eve of the UEFA EURO 2020 Group A football match between Turkey and Italy. (Photo by Handout / UEFA / AFP)


Captain Giorgio Chiellini warned Italy were raring to get their Euro 2020 campaign going to prove that they are back among the elite three years after missing out on the World Cup finals.

“The desire to rebuild, to relive a tournament as a protagonist is immense,” said the 36-year-old Juventus defender on the eve of their Euro opener against Turkey in Rome.

Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, losing a play-off to Sweden, and have won the European trophy just once in 1968.

“The defeat in Milan against Sweden stuck with us, we can never forget it, but we managed to turn disappointment into enthusiasm and the desire to do well,” continued Chiellini.

“We can’t wait to get out there and relive those emotions.”

Chiellini is Italy’s most experienced player with 107 caps spanning 17 years.

He played in the side that lost the Euro 2012 final to Spain, but has never won a trophy with the ‘Azzurri’.

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“I believe to try to do something in this type of tournament it will also take a pinch of folly,” added the veteran defender.

Coach Roberto Mancini insisted the objective was also to provide entertainment in a tournament postponed for a year amid the pandemic.

“After everything that has happened I think it is important to entertain people,” said Mancini with the opening match played in front of 16,000 fans in a Stadio Olimpico at 25 percent capacity.

“Certainly it would have been better to have more people, also considering how the situation is evolving.

“If the Olimpico had been full they would have been the 12th player on the pitch, but in any case we are playing in Rome, and 16,000 people is already a first step.”

Mancini’s Italy are looking to extend their 27-match unbeaten run.

“I was confident three years ago, even more today, we’ve forged an excellent team spirit,” added Mancini.

“The first match is always the most difficult, but we must be free mentally and do our job and be different, this is our goal.

“We worked well, we have good players and we have created an excellent group.

“Our desire to live this European Championship as protagonists is strong.

“We would like to continue having fun and maybe get to London.”


Del Bosque Believes Italy Defeat Not End Of Spain Era

euro 2016Italy on Monday evening put in a dominant performance as they beat defending champions Spain 2-0 in Paris to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

Antonio Conte’s side took the lead in the 33rd minute through defender Giorgio Chiellini but they could have had more but for three superb saves from David De Gea.

Spain had a golden chance to equalise right as the death through Gerard Pique but Gianluigi Buffon was alert to the danger, making a brilliant save before Graziano Pelle’s strike sealed victory in injury time.

Spanish coach, Vicente Del Bosque, however believes that the defeat does not signal an end to Spain’s reign at the top of world football.

“Sometimes a team has to accept defeat,” he said. “I accept that Italy were better than us, but that does not have to mean it is the end of an era. Spanish football still has a great structure, with good players and coaches, and now we must look forward to qualifying for the next World Cup.”

The Italian coach shares the sentiment and was quite modest in victory. “It is in rude health,” the victorious Italy coach said.

“Look who keeps winning all the Champions League and Europa League [titles]. I wish Italian football was as healthy, because this is not the rosiest period for our country in terms of footballing talent. I think everybody knows that, and that’s why this victory should fill us with pride.

“I have said on many occasions that in terms of going forward Italy had to be a club; we have to play like a team faced with a league season because we cannot rely on outstanding individuals as we have done in the past. We have to be a team and I think we are getting there.”

Italy will now face Germany in the last eight at the Stade De Bordeaux on July 2 and Conte says, “They are the best side at these championships bar none, and we are going to have to face them without Thiago Motta, who is suspended, and possibly Daniele De Rossi, who has hurt his rib.

“Germany are a great team and there are a lot of hurdles in our path but when the going gets tough we can often manage to respond.”

Buffon And Chiellini Extend Juventus Contract

BuffonGianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini have signed new contracts with Juventus keeping them at the Serie A club until 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Buffon’s deal was due to expire by the summer of 2015, but his new contract has added 3 more years to his initially 13 years career for his club.

Chiellini, 30, had a contract until the end of this season, too, and has agreed a new deal that would keep him at the club for three additional years.

Club President, Andrea Agnelli, indicated that their leadership was key as their stay with Juventus has been helpful in bringing the club to the top.

“The fact that it will be my last contract was a factor, but I’m not worried about that: I feel energised. As both parties wished to continue, it was the natural choice to extend my contract for another two years. I’ll need energy and courage to make my career last even longer,” Buffon said.

Chiellini also showed his satisfaction by vowing to keep giving his all for the club

Buffon has won five Serie A titles with Juventus, plus two which were taken off the club as part of the 2006 match-fixing scandal.

I Will Not Bite Again – Luis Suarez

Luis-SuarezBarcelona forward, Luis Suarez, has made a promise not to bite anymore.

Suarez admitted he was concerned for his future in the days following his four-month FIFA ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini, but is now putting the saga behind him.

The Uruguay international provoked uproar at the World Cup over the summer after being found guilty of biting an opponent for the third time in his career during the South American side’s clash with Italy.

He was initially banned from all football-related activities for four months, as well as nine international matches, although that did not stop Barcelona from making the 27-year-old their marquee summer signing from Liverpool.

The controversial striker, who said he was “really depressed” after the incident in Brazil, launched an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the ban.

Following the verdict, the former Liverpool striker is still banned from playing in competitive fixtures until late October and must also serve the remaining eight games of his nine-match international ban.

But Suarez is no longer excluded from “all football-related activities”, which allowed him to make his Barcelona debut as a 75th-minute substitute in the 6-0 friendly victory over Mexican side, Club Leon, on Monday.

Addressing a media conference on Tuesday, he said of his behavioural issues, “I am speaking to professionals – the right professionals. But it is a private matter and I don’t want to comment further on that.”

“I know I must accept the reality and have apologised,” said Suarez. “That is something from the past and to be forgotten. When it [the bite] happened I felt very down, then saw I had to apologise. I prefer not to go back over all I have been through. The lesson is clear. It was my mistake. But that is the past now. I say to the fans not to worry as it will not happen again.”

Suarez, who had previously been banned for biting PSV’s Otman Bakkel and Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, initially denied he had bitten Italy’s Chiellini in Uruguay’s 1-0 win, but then issued a statement later confirming his guilt.

Bite Incident: Suarez Stays Banned

Luis SuarezWorld Football governing body, FIFA, have rejected Uruguay and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s appeal against a four-month ban from all football-related activities for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

FIFA’s Appeal Committee confirmed, Thursday, the decision rendered by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on June 25, 2014 in its entirety which also banned Suarez for nine international matches after the incident at the World Cup in Brazil.

FIFA said that the terms of the decision taken by its Appeal Committee were communicated to the player and the Uruguayan FA who had described the ruling as an “excessive decision” for which “there was not enough evidence”.

Should Suarez and the Uruguayan FA decide to appeal further, ordinarily the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) would sit and hear the matter while the player adheres to the terms of his ban.

Under the terms of the suspension, Suarez cannot train with his club and is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium, although players’ union Fifpro argue the details “lack clarity”.

However, as the World Cup is still ongoing, they could apply to the CAS ‘ad-hoc’ division, which exists for the duration of the tournament to hear matters such as this.

The ad-hoc division could suspend the sanctions pending a full hearing later in the year, allowing Suarez to play and take part in “football related activities” in the meantime.

Suarez was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match in 2013 and was also suspended for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in 2010.

With this latest ban, Suarez would have missed 32 games through four separate bans since arriving at Liverpool in 2011.

The ban is the biggest in World Cup history, beating the eight games given to Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for elbowing Spain’s Luis Enrique in 1994.

Suarez Bite Match Referee To Handle Brazil-Germany Semi Final

Marco-Antonio-RodriguezFIFA has announced the referee for match 61 of the FIFA World Cup™, the first semi-final between Brazil and Germany. It will be Marco Rodríguez, the Mexican referee who officiated in the match that saw Uruguay striker, Luis Suarez bite Italian Giorgio Chiellini.

Rodriguez, who did not see the incident involving Suarez and Chiellini during the match, which led to the Uruguay star being thrown out of the tournament and banned from football for four months, now has the task of keeping order in Sao Paulo for Tuesday’s game.

The 40 year old, who sent off Italy’s Claudio Marchisio in the same Group D fixture, during this tournament, also officiated in the group-stage match – Belgium v. Algeria.

Brazil 2014 is the third FIFA World Cup™ for Rodríguez and he refereed two games at each of the last two editions but has never officiated in a knockout stage match. In 2010, one of his matches was Germany’s 4-0 victory over Australia.

During his career, Rodríguez has been selected for several international tournaments, including five editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013), the Copa América 2004, the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009 and three FIFA U-17 World Cups (2003, 2005 and 2013).

At club level, he has refereed three CONCACAF Champions League finals, and his most prestigious assignment was the final of the FIFA Club World Cup 2007 between Boca Juniors and AC Milan. He later oversaw Al Ahly v. Corinthians in the 2012 semi-finals of the same competition.

Meanwhile, Germany midfielder, Bastian Schweinsteiger, has warned match officials in the semi-final to keep an eye on Brazil’s physical approach.

“Hard challenges definitely are part of their game, it’s something we have to be careful of and the referee too,” Schweinsteiger said.

FIFA Bans Suarez For Four Months After Biting Chiellini

suarezWorld football governing body, FIFA, have suspended Uruguay star, Luis Suarez, from all football-related activity for four months for biting Italy defender, Giorgio Chiellini, and have also being expelled from the World Cup.

Suarez flew back to Montevideo in disgrace last night after being told his participation in the ongoing 2014 World Cup was over following an unprecedented FIFA punishment.

The Liverpool striker was evicted from Uruguay’s team hotel on Thursday as part of his immediate four-month ban, which would see him miss the opening 13 games for Liverpool next season as well as the next nine competitive Uruguayan international matches

The independent FIFA disciplinary committee, chaired by Claudio Sulser of Switzerland, reached the decision to hand Suarez a World Cup record ban after 10 hours of talks spread over Wednesday night and Thursday morning before it was announced at FIFA’s daily briefing at the Maracana.

The committee took into account that this was the third time Suarez had bitten an opponent, the first, PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal in 2010, for which he received a seven-match ban, and then Chelsea defender, Branislav Ivanovic in 2013, which he got a 10-game ban.

Sulser said: “Such behaviour cannot be tolerated and in particular not at a World Cup when the eyes of millions are on the stars on the field. The disciplinary committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suarez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the code.”

The player and the Uruguay FA had been informed minutes beforehand and the suspension starts with immediate effect.

The Uruguayan Football Association are preparing an appeal against the severity of the sentence, which they describe as an “excessive decision” for which “there was not enough evidence” and also includes a £64,000 fine. But there is no chance of Suarez appearing at Brazil 2014 again and his future at Liverpool is also plunged into uncertainty through the length of the suspension.

Uruguay FA President, Wilmar Valdez, said: “We are preparing our appeal to present to FIFA in the next few hours. It’s an extremely excessive punishment, there was not enough evidence and I have seen more aggressive incidents.

“It feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup. We all know what Suarez means to Uruguay and to football around the world. Luis will travel home to recover with his family.”

FIFA’s strict regulations,  barring him from any involvement in football means he cannot even watch Liverpool or Uruguay in action as he is banned from football stadiums and must train alone away from Liverpool’s Melwood training ground.

Even in football exile, Suarez can be sold, which pundits thinks is a strong possibility, but cannot personally join in negotiations in mooted moves to Barcelona or Real Madrid.

The news was greeted with dismay by the Liverpool owners in Boston and the club are taking specialist legal advice before deciding what to do about Suarez.

Given the length of his ban, the Merseyside club, who have not been contacted by FIFA or the Uruguay FA, feel they are being punished for an offence they had no part in.

Chief Executive, Ian Ayre, said: “Liverpool Football Club will wait until we have seen and had time to review the FIFA disciplinary committee report before making any further comment.”

Uruguay face Colombia in the last 16 on Saturday and Central defender, Jose Maria Gimenez, said that the team were “more united than ever”, while the country’s Sports Minister, Liliam Kechichian, commented: “We are hurt by this excessive sanction. Now let’s see how we can help this human being and whether the group can show its class and its love for La Celeste.”

Britain’s FIFA Vice-President, Jim Boyce, said: “The punishment is fully justified. Hopefully he will realise now that behaviour of this type will not be tolerated.”

Under the terms of the ban, Suarez cannot train with Liverpool and is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of his suspension.

But Liverpool would not be prevented from selling the former Ajax player this summer should they decide to offload him to another club.



FIFA Launches Disciplinary Action Against Suarez For Biting Chiellini

fifa logoWorld governing body FIFA has launched disciplinary proceedings against Luis Suarez after the striker appeared to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 World Cup win.

Suarez faces a lengthy ban that would force him to miss the rest of the World Cup if found guilty of biting Chiellini.

The Liverpool forward looked to have sunk his teeth into the shoulder of the Azzurri, who attempted to show referee Marco Rodriguez the mark left by Suarez’s teeth.

The Mexican referee, however, failed to spot the incident but in a statement on their official website, FIFA confirmed that it will investigate the 27-year-old’s actions in Natal.

The maximum time FIFA are able to ban a player for is two years.

FIFA’s statement said ”FIFA can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Luis Suarez of Uruguay following an apparent breach of article 48 and/or article 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code during the World Cup match Italy-Uruguay played on 24 June 2014.

The player and/or the Uruguayan FA are invited to provide their position and any documentary evidence they deem relevant until 25 June 2014, 5pm, Brasilia time.

‘According to article 77 lit. a of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC), the FIFA Disciplinary Committee is responsible for sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials’ attention.

Furthermore, according to article 96 of the FDC, any type of proof may be produced (par. 1), in particular are admissible, reports from referees, declarations from the parties and witnesses, material evidence, audio or video recordings (par. 3).’

FIFA’s disciplinary code sets a maximum ban of 24 matches or two years, but the longest ban in World Cup history was eight games for Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for breaking Spain’s Luis Enrique’s nose in 1994 with an elbow. Zinedine Zidane was given a three-match ban for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the 2006 final.

Fifa Vice-President Jim Boyce said: “There is no doubt Luis Suarez is a fantastic footballer but, once again, his actions have left him open to severe criticism.

“Fifa must investigate the incident seriously and take whatever disciplinary action is deemed necessary.”

Suarez has, however, denied claims that he bit Chielini and insists he ‘had contact, nothing more.’

“There are things that happen on the pitch and you should not make such a big deal out of them. It was just the two of us inside the area and he bumped into me with his shoulder.” The Liverpool striker told Urugyuan television

Suarez and the Uruguayan Football Association have until 5pm local time (21:00 GMT) on Wednesday to respond to the football world governing body and could miss the rest of the competition if found guilty.