Pelle sent home for ‘dis­re­spect­ing’ coach

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT -

TURIN, Italy (AP): ITALY FOR­WARD Graziano Pelle has been re­moved from the team’s squad for re­fus­ing to shake coach Gian Piero Ven­tura’s hand af­ter a sub­sti­tu­tion.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred on Thurs­day in the sec­ond half of Italy’s 1-1 draw with Spain in a World Cup qual­i­fier.

The Ital­ian fed­er­a­tion says Pelle has been sent back to his club in China, Shan­dong Luneng, and will there­fore miss to­mor­row’s qual­i­fier at Mace­do­nia.

Pelle apol­o­gised on In­sta­gram for the in­ci­dent, de­scrib­ing his be­hav­iour as “un­ac­cept­able”, adding that “it’s fair that I take re­spon­si­bil­ity for what hap­pened”.

Mean­while, Italy cap­tain Gian­luigi Buf­fon crit­i­cised Pelle’s ges­ture, but be­lieves the striker will be wel­comed back into the squad.

“It wasn’t a nice ges­ture,” Buf­fon said. “Our phi­los­o­phy is about unity of pur­pose, even if there are times when you can do some­thing wrong out of anger.

“He’ll re­alise his mis­take and be wel­comed back with af­fec­tion, you can make one mis­take in 10 years.”


Italy’s Graziano Pelle (right) and Spain’s Ser­gio Ramos jump for the ball dur­ing a World Cup Group G qual­i­fy­ing match be­tween Italy and Spain at the Ju­ven­tus Sta­dium in Turin, Italy on Thurs­day. The match ended 1-1.

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