Ital­ian press laments World Cup ‘apoc­a­lypse’

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

ROME: The Ital­ian press on Tues­day lamented the na­tional squad’s fail­ure to reach the World Cup for the first time in 60 years as a sport­ing catas­tro­phe.

“Italy, this is the apoc­a­lypse,” ran a head­line on the web­site of sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport shortly af­ter Mon­day night’s 0-0 draw with Swe­den in the sec­ond leg of the play-off for a place at Rus­sia 2018.

The stale­mate meant Swe­den ad­vanced thanks to a 1-0 vic­tory in Fri­day’s first leg.

“Wasted chances, a bit of bad luck but zero goals in 180 min­utes against the Swedes, who will go to Rus­sia,” Gazzetta com­mented, mak­ing clear its view that Italy had not done enough to earn qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

“The ref­eree de­nied us a penalty, but our op­po­nents should have had two,” the pa­per noted.

The other ma­jor sports daily, Cor­riere dello Sport, head­lined with: “Italy out of the World Cup”, and un­der­lined how painful it will be for the coun­try to be on the side­lines when the ac­tion kicks off in Rus­sia in June.

“In only a few months’ time we will be watch­ing the World Cup for every­one else: for the first time in 60 years we will be on the out­side,” the daily noted in an edi­to­rial piece.

“It is an in­tol­er­a­ble foot­ball shame, an in­deli­ble stain.

“It is over. Apoc­a­lypse, tragedy, catas­tro­phe. Call it how you see it, but please, spare us the speeches on a sys­tem that isn’t work­ing: our foot­ball is in a se­ri­ous cri­sis but it is not in­fe­rior to its Swedish or its Swiss coun­ter­parts.”

An on­line head­line in cen­treleft broad­sheet La Repub­blica read sim­ply: “Good­bye Rus­sia”, while Turin’s La Stampa pro­claimed: “Dis­as­ter for Italy, we won’t be go­ing to the World Cup.” – AFP

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