Gravina talks World Cup qualification failure and need for reform

by | May 20, 2022 10:41

FIGC president Gabriele Gravina discussed the need a modern football reform but suggested that the failure to qualify for the World Cup shouldn’t be equated with the sporting policy.

Italy failed to book their spot at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar after suffering a painful 1-0 loss to North Macedonia back in March. It was an unbelievable result for Azzurri fans, who seven months earlier had been celebrating the success at Euro 2020. Coach Roberto Mancini decided not to resign and he’ll now oversee the new Azzurri project.

Speaking at the forum ‘Il Calcio che l’Italia si merita’, Gravina gave his thoughts on the current issues affecting Italian football and what needs to be done to resolve things.

“In recent years football has worked on a project level, then everything is equated with the lack of qualification and in my opinion this is wrong. Sports policy cannot be equated with that.

“Lately the expression sustainability has become fashionable, much abused in my opinion as an expression of a large container, then we strive to give content and we struggle.

“Let us start from an elementary principle, the world of football develops its projects against the exchange of finance, goes to the market and puts its event as a commercial proposition. This generates a series of questions about research, continuous and constant, this is the first element we would like to refer to.

“Perhaps instead of referring to economic indicators, we could refer to something else, such as a well-being index. We must abandon a sectarian, personalistic idea of the world of football and seek solutions within a systemic logic.

“More than a reform of the leagues I would speak of a reform of football. Today I can thank Lorenzo Casini for an opportunity that we have shared with periodic programmed internships for young people, an embryo is born and it is a step forward in the sense of the constant dialogue that is developing.”

He then touched on what the FIGC can do to improve the quality of football in Italy.

‘We cannot affect market positioning. Twenty owners in Serie A, twenty in Serie B and sixty in Lega Pro have a responsibility to position themselves and to seek an economic-financial balance. Today’s issue is not only to increase revenues, but to bring costs under control.

“If the cost of labour goes from 65 to 75%, you haven’t solved the problem. We can improve the product and we have to compare ourselves, this is where the idea of a new project comes from.

“I don’t know whether playoff or playout, certainly one hundred teams is too many and a more correct size has to be found, but it has to be done as a system, Serie A cannot do it alone or Serie B alone and so on.

“Then we mustn’t forget Law 91 of 1981, we are governed by a forty-year-old law, which prevents things. Lorenzo had found an important agreement to modify the Melandri and it was postponed.”

Despite Italy’s success at Euro 2020, it’s clear that there are some issues plaguing the Italian game, limiting it’s growth on both a national and international level. Some suggest that the low amount of young talents breaking into first teams hinders growth, whilst others point to tactical issues.


  1. dENNIS

    hopefully they stop talking and talking and talking and just reform for a change, my god just get on with it. pathetic

  2. Azzurrofan

    As always much talk and little change. Almost like their government.

  3. Zog

    What is law 91.

  4. Milan Fan

    How about starting the reform with yourself?

    It’s unbelievable that nobody’s taking the blame with resigning after failing to qualify for a World Cup for the SECOND consecutive time. At least the first time some people like the coach and the head of the federation paid the price.

  5. Matt I.

    All I got out of this is Gravina doesn’t view the lack of qualification to the world cup as a failure, then goes on to talk about cost cutting reforms. Shambolic. The national team will remain volatile under his leadership, as it is clear he is most interested in helping the club owners save money.

  6. Brandon

    For the love of Christ Almighty.

    If you are down to 1/3rd Italian players in your own domestic league how is God’s name can you put together a team?

    Too many average foreigners in A & B.

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