Italy axe ‘disrespectful’ Pelle
TURIN — Italy coach Giampiero Ventura has axed Graziano Pelle for this weekend’s World Cup qualifier against Macedonia, accusing the striker of “disrespect”.
The Chinese-based former Southampton forward has paid the price for failing to shake his coach’s hand when he was substituted in Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Spain.
“Manager Giampero Ventura, in agreement with the (Italian federation) FIGC, has decided to exclude Graziano Pelle from the squad for the Macedonia match because of his disrespectful behaviour when he was replaced,” a federation statement read.
“To be part of the national team implies the sharing of common values and behaviour conforming to the wearing of the blue shirt, beginning with respect towards the management, players and fans.”
Pelle walked off the pitch, ignoring Ventura’s outstretched hand, and finds himself punished despite offering an apology on social media.
“So once again I’ve done something stupid. I behaved unacceptably towards the boss (Ventura) and to my teammates, who have always displayed their values in this fantastic group of which we’re part,” he posted on Instagram. — AFP.