Gabriele Gravina, chief of the Italian FA, has poured cold water on any hopes Azzurri fans had of Italy sneaking a place a the 2022 World Cup.
Roberto Mancini’s side suffered a shock defeat to North Macedonia in the play-offs but on Monday, former CONI committee member Franco Chimenti said Italy still had a chance due to the possibility Ecuador could be expelled.
The South Americans are under investigation for falsifying the documents of one of a player and, in case of expulsion, Chimenti said FIFA would admit the highest-ranked nation who didn’t qualify which is Italy.
However, Gravina said that, having spoken to world football’s governing body, he has been assured that isn’t the case.
Asked at the federal council in Rome what the chances of Italy being readmitted to the World Cup were, he replied: “Zero.
“Europe has 13 available places and they have been taken up. Should a place become available in South America, it would go to a South American nation.
“We have spoken to FIFA and the response was completely negative.”
Italy have won just two competitive matches since winning Euro 2020 as they lost to Spain in UEFA Nations League semi-finals and finished second to Switzerland in their World Cup qualifying group.