Italy’s FIFA World Cup qualification failure sends shockwaves around the world
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Italy’s FIFA World Cup qualification failure sends shockwaves around the world

For the first time in 60 years, Italy have failed to qualify for a FIFA World Cup. The next FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia in 2018.

football Updated: Nov 14, 2017 16:24 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Italy vs Sweden,Italy FIFA World Cup,FIFA World Cup
Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura, left, consoles Gianluigi Buffon after their FIFA World Cup play-off loss against Sweden.(AP)

Four-time world champions Italy suffered a shock when they failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with their qualifying play-off match against Sweden ending in a goalless draw at the Friends Arena in Stockholm on Monday.

Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup to be played in Russia in 2018 sent shockwaves through the country and beyond, with their veteran player Gianluigi Buffon making a tearful exit from international football.

The Italian media called their team’s failure an ‘apocalypse’, as it was way back in 1958 that the ‘Azzurri’ had failed to qualify for a World Cup event.

READ | Italy join France, Argentina in list of shocking FIFA World Cup exits

“I’m not sorry for myself but all of Italian football, because we failed at something which also means something on a social level,” said an emotional Buffon confirming his exit, according to AFP.

Buffon was not the only one to walk away post the failure; with the 36-year-old Andrea Barzagli, the 34-year-old midfielder Daniele de Rossi and Giorgio Chiellini also retiring from international football.

There were reactions from all over the world with Italy’s failure, who along with teams such as Chile, The Netherlands, Cameroon, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Ivory Coast and USA will be watching the World Cup from home.

Some, on the other hand, looked at the positive aspect of it.

It was also a major jolt for football fans around the world as the 2018 FIFA World Cup lost yet another high-profile participant. European heavyweights Netherlands and the Copa America champions Chile were both unable to cross even the group stages and Italy’s absence will be not be good news for the football romantics.

First Published: Nov 14, 2017 16:20 IST