ROME – The head of the Italian soccer federation, Carlo Tavecchio, said on Monday that it was political pressure that forced him to resign.
Addressing a press conference at federation headquarters in Rome, Tavecchio defended the work he did, despite the team’s failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time 1958.
“I resigned and, as a purely political act, I asked the board to do so too, but no one resigned,” he said following a meeting of the Federation Council.
Tavecchio said that it was only shortly before the meeting of the council that he learned that he no longer had sufficient support to remain as federation president.
He said he was being made to pay for mistakes that were not his, such as appointing Gian Piero Ventura – fired last week – as coach, noting that Ventura was hired on the recommendation of Marcello Lippi, who led Italy to win the 2006 World Cup.
Tavecchio said that under his leadership, the federation established technical centers, developed women’s soccer, balanced it budget and introduced the Video Assistant Referee.
Elected on Aug. 11, 2014, Tavecchio, after firing Ventura, initially resisted stepping down after the Azzurri lost out on the 2018 World Cup.
But during the past few days, Italian National Olympic Committee head Giovanni Malago urged Tavecchio to resign and make way for new leadership.