Football: Italy manager criticised over squad decisions

(AGI) Rome, Mar 23 - Italy football manager Antonio Conte isfacing a barrage of criticism after including Eder and FrancoVazquez in the squad for the match against Euro 2016 qualifierBulgaria and the friendly against England. Both players are"oriundi", or foreigners of Italian descent. The heaviestcriticism has come from the Italian coaches, including RobertoMancini, speaking on the sidelines of a regular meeting atFiumicino with Serie A referees, coaches, captains anddirectors, who said the Italian national squad must be Italian.He had yet to decide whether he agreed with the inclusions,quoting the example

(AGI) Rome, Mar 23 - Italy football manager Antonio Conte isfacing a barrage of criticism after including Eder and FrancoVazquez in the squad for the match against Euro 2016 qualifierBulgaria and the friendly against England. Both players are"oriundi", or foreigners of Italian descent. The heaviestcriticism has come from the Italian coaches, including RobertoMancini, speaking on the sidelines of a regular meeting atFiumicino with Serie A referees, coaches, captains anddirectors, who said the Italian national squad must be Italian.He had yet to decide whether he agreed with the inclusions,quoting the example of Germany, the world champions, sayingthat all their players were born in Germany. He felt thatItalian players born in Italy deserved to wear the nationalstrip, not people who were born elsewhere, even those withItalian relatives. Verona coach Andrea Mandolini, also speakingfrom Fiumicino, said he felt real Italians should play fortheir country, and he felt the question of including "oriundi"was still at the experimental stage, although it had been triedsome time ago. A great deal went into bringing on young playersand then "oriundi" were chosen. It would be better to givepriority to young players. Zeman remarked that if "oriundi"were chosen to play for Italy it showed that it could be done.Young Italians ought to do better than outsiders. Players whowere not born in a country were chosen to up the game. It wasan option that had been discussed and was now being put intopractice. People who took part in national matches had grown upin those countries, and had the relevant mentality, but it wasalso true that globalisation meant that you couldn't understandwhere anyone came from. National hopefuls should makethemselves seen and outstrip foreign contenders." Conteresponded saying he was not the first and would not be the lastmanager to include "oriundi", saying that various footballershad played for the Italian side, including Camoranesi, whobecame a world champion. There were also Ledesma, Paletta,Thiago Motta, Amauri and Romulo. At the last World Cup, 83 ofthe 736 players had been "oriundi". Those were the rules, thiswas football. There was always room for discussion, herespected everybody's opinion, but he had done nothing that hadnot been done before. Remarks were always being made about thenational side and about himself as a person, but this was anissue that has been debated all over the world. What matteredmost was that it should be a constructive debate. He wasclearly cross at not having been able to assess Vazquez andEder before summoning them, and would have liked to have seenthem a month earlier on a call-up, which would have given him abetter idea. This had not been possible and he had decided toallow these two players onto the squad, both having Italiancitizenship. He would now see how they performed on an officialoccasion and then decide whether they had something major tocontribute and whether or not to award them the national strip.Italian Football Federation President Carlo Tavecchio said thatplayers who were summoned could play on national teams. Thatwas that. Italy had won the 2006 World Cup with Camoranesi, an"oriundo", on the team, and Conte was absolutely free to choosepeople entitled to play. There has been a great deal of talkabout 'ius soli' citizenship in the sporting world, yet therewas all this discussion about two convocations. (AGI). .