Roberto Mancini reaches agreement to coach Italy — report

Roberto Mancini is set to agree $2.3 million a year deal to manage Italy. (AFP)
Updated 09 May 2018
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Roberto Mancini reaches agreement to coach Italy — report

  • Mancini set to agree $2.3 million a year deal
  • Zenit Saint Petersburg reluctant to let their coach leave

MILAN: Zenit Saint Petersburg manager Roberto Mancini has reached agreement to become the next Italy coach after accepting a pay cut to take the job, according to reports on Tuesday.
Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the 53-year-old Italian has agreed a two-year deal worth €2 million ($2.3 million) a year which will be penned after the end of the Russian season which concludes next Sunday.
Zenit are fifth in the Russian Premier League, ten points behind already-crowned champions Lokomotiv Moscow with one match left.
The Russian club are reportedly reluctant to let Mancini leave and the Italian Football Federation FIGC do not want to pay any compensation to release him from his contract.
The former Italian international joined the Russian club last year on a three-year deal thought to be worth €4.5 million.
The annual budget for the future Italy coach and his backroom staff has been fixed at €5 million.
Italy have been without a permanent coach since Gian Piero Ventura was sacked after they failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after losing to Sweden in November.
Italy’s under-21 coach Luigi Di Biagio has been filling the position on an interim basis.
During his 17-year coaching career Mancini led Manchester City to their first English league title in 44 years in 2012, and won three Serie A titles with Inter Milan. He also won Italian Cups with Inter, Fiorentina and Lazio.
Meanwhile, Gazzetta also reported that Mancini wants to bring back Mario Balotelli into the national fold, and will ask goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon to play against the Netherlands for a farewell appearance in Turin on June 4.
In-form Nice striker Balotelli, 27, has scored 13 goals in 33 appearances for Italy but has not been picked since the 2014 World Cup.
Former Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti turned down the opportunity to coach the four-time world champions saying he preferred to stay in club coaching.
“Mine was a choice, I want to coach a club,” Ancelotti told Milan TV. “It was a difficult decision, but I have to listen to what I feel.
“Roberto Mancini is an excellent coach, he is motivated and has international experience. If the next coach was him, I think the national team would be in good hands.”


Platini released from custody after police questioning

Updated 19 June 2019
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Platini released from custody after police questioning

  • French authorities haven’t announced any charges against Platini
  • The authorities also questioned a sport adviser from the previous French president’s administration

PARIS: Former UEFA president Michel Platini was released from custody in the early hours of Wednesday after being questioned as part of a corruption investigation into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
His communication team said that Platini’s detention ended at 12:30 a.m. local time.
Platini had denied any wrongdoing and French authorities did not announce any charges against the former France and Juventus player.
“It was long, but given the number of questions it could not be different,” Platini said after his release. “They asked me questions about the 2016 Euro, the World Cup in Russia, the World Cup in Qatar, the Paris Saint-Germain, FIFA.”
Also questioned Tuesday were Sophie Dion, a sports adviser in former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s administration, and Claude Gueant, the former secretary general of the Elysee presidential palace under Sarkozy.
Ahead of the FIFA vote, Sarkozy hosted a meeting in November 2010 that brought Platini together with Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, then the crown prince of Qatar and now its ruling emir. Al-Thani also owns the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, and Sarkozy frequently attends its games.
Qatar beat the long-favored United States 14 to 8 when FIFA selected the host country for the 2022 World Cup
As head of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, Platini was the continent’s top representative on the FIFA committee that picked Qatar.
French prosecutors are known to be investigating an array of winning bids for major sports events, including the 2018 World Cup, awarded to Russia, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and track and field world championships.

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READ MORE: TIMELINE: The trail of corruption allegations surrounding the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

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