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17th May 2022

Italian media still clinging onto unlikely hope they will play at Qatar World Cup

Callum Boyle

Let it go lads

The Italian media just won’t let the embarrassment of missing the World Cup go, will they?

After failing to qualify for their second consecutive tournament following a late defeat to North Macedonia, courtesy of a 92nd minute winner, the Azzurri are facing the prospect of watching at home while the biggest nations fight it out for football’s biggest prize.

But not content with missing out, Italy will do anything to make sure they’re on the plane to Qatar and are trying every trick in the book to get there.

Italian media made claims to qualify for the tournament recently

As recently as two months ago, media in Italy believed that there could be a route back into the tournament – albeit in less than perfect circumstances – after there were calls for FIFA to ban Iran as over 2,000 women were denied access to the stadium for their game against Lebanon, with security using heavy-handed tactics, leaving several women injured.

Why do they think they could still qualify?

The Italian media’s calls didn’t result in any action, but less than two months later and they’re back trying again. Bless them.

This time the former chair of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), Franco Chimenti, believes that the Azzurri could be allowed to play in the Gulf State at the expense of Ecuador.

Last week FIFA announced that they would be conducting an investigation into the South American nation following a complaint from the Chilean Football Association, who raised question marks over the eligibility of Byron Castillo.

The Chilean FA claimed that Castillo and Ecuador used false documents to allow him to play and that the defender is in fact Colombian.

Qatar World CupChile have launched a complaint over the eligibility of Ecuador’s Byron Castillo, pictured (Franklin Jacome/Getty)

While Chile are claiming that should Ecuador be banned and that they should take that spot, members of the Azzurri hierarchy feel that it is only fair that the spot is awarded to Italy since they are the highest ranked nation that failed to qualify.

“There is still a chance to see Italy at the World Cup and it’s more concrete than what people think,” he told GR Parlamento, as quoted by Football-Italia.

“Apparently, Ecuador have used a player who was not allowed to be on the pitch and could pay for it.

“If it happens, another country should replace them and the FIFA rules state that the highest country in the FIFA ranking should be recalled and, at the moment, it is Italy.”

At this point you have to admire the ‘try, try and try again’ method Italy are going about to get to this World Cup and their belief they have some divine right to be there.

But if you can’t even beat the likes of North Macedonia, you probably don’t deserve to go.

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