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Axe to fall on Donadoni

24 Jun 2008 - 17:00:06

Roberto Donadoni is expected to be axed as Italy boss later this week following his side's Euro 2008 quarter-final defeat to Spain.

Italy were beaten by the Netherlands in the group stage and were held to a draw by Romania, but still managed to qualify for the last eight of the tournament, where they were beaten in a penalty shoot-out by Spain.

La Gazzetta dello Sport has said Donadoni will be sacked on Wednesday, with veteran 2006 World Cup-winning boss Marcello Lippi tipped to succeed him.

Donadoni signed a two-year contract extension earlier this month and said after Sunday's defeat that he had no intention of resigning.

Meanwhile, the president of Italy's Olympic committee, Gianni Petrucci, has played down the chances of Lippi returning to the role, saying: "I think it's premature to be talking about the possible return of Marcello Lippi.

"Donadoni still remains the coach and I will fully support what the federation decides.

"(Italian Football Federation president) Giancarlo Abete has every right and freedom to make the choice he considers to be best.

"I don't blame anything on the national team nor on Abete. We simply have to accept that our rivals were better than us."


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