Italy Fires Manager Gian Piero Ventura After World Cup Qualifying Failure

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has been fired following the Azzurri's failure to qualify for the World Cup.
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ROME (AP) – Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has been fired following the Azzurri's failure to qualify for the World Cup.

Ventura leaves in disgrace, widely criticized for his tactical decisions that left Italy out of football's biggest competition for the first time in six decades.

A football federation statement says Ventura is ''no longer coach of the national team.''

Four-time champion Italy lost a playoff to Sweden, 1-0 on aggregate, on Monday.

Ventura's contract was recently extended to 2020 but the deal included a stipulation that it could be voided in case of a failed qualification.

No immediate replacement was named.