it is not enough for Italy to have the highest ranking

Italy’s repechage at the Qatar 2022 World Cup is impossible despite the fact that the regulation leaves a foothold for the exclusion, at the moment only hypothetical, of Iran. His place would eventually be taken by another national team: two suspects.

Italy out of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, there is no possibility that it will be rescued even in the event of the possible exclusion of Iran.

A wound that bleeds, it will not be enough time to heal it but only the results of the field will be needed. The elimination ofItaly from the playoffs – exit against North Macedonia without even having the chance to play everything in the final against Portugal – it still hurts. Failure to participate in the Qatar World Cup 2022 it is a sports trauma (the second consecutive after Russia 2018) very hard from which to recover. There are no special treatments or shortcuts to hope for a sensational and grotesque repechage.

There are no margins even now that that ugly mess happened in Iran has (re) opened Fifa’s eyes on the issue of human rights in the Asian country. The images of the thousands of women who were denied access to the stadium, despite being in possession of a ticket, and subsequently uploaded by the agents – who sprayed pepper spray on the crowd – went around the world and also arrived on smartphone of Federation officials. Embarrassment, dismay, outcry: in the kit of reactions aroused by that episode, everything was assembled, including the mirage of finding a “jump seat” at the National Of Roberto Mancini that on the plane to the Cup in the Arabian Peninsula he would find a place in the hold. A hypothesis that was not only the fruit of fantasy but motivated by the rules.

Gianni Infantino defined Italy's repechage at the World Cup as impossible with a joke.

Gianni Infantino defined Italy’s repechage at the World Cup as impossible with a joke.

Replacement. It is the magic word contained in article 6 of the FIFA preliminary regulation on the 2022 World Cup. There is no specific criterion but only discretion on the part of the international football government in choosing who to pull on the lifeboat: “If any association withdraws or is excluded from the competition – reads the prescription in question -, Fifa will decide on the matter in its sole discretion and will take any action it deems necessary”.

Because for Italy, going to the World Cup will be more difficult than winning the Europeans

A salvific act that in theory – because it is not an automatic procedure, especially due to the gravity and exceptionality of such sanctions – could only occur if the Federation of a selection already qualified for the World Cup were suspended or expelled from FIFA. A sanction that would arrive at the end of a specific procedure (governed by articles 16 and 17 of the FIFA Statute) until the affiliation is forfeited.

That’s why when the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino (in Florence to participate in an event at the Franchi), they ask the fateful question about the possible repechage of Italy, he replies with a laconic: “As an Italian, for me it is an incredible sadness, I feel like crying … but let’s be serious, please”. An expression the latter used, albeit with much stronger accents and different words, from Evelina Christillin, European member of FIFA. The concept is very simple: “Let’s get rid of the fact that Italy can go to the World Cup – he admitted to Rai Radio 1, host of the show Un Giorno da Pecora -, it is impossible for our national team to be rescued”.

Evelina Cristillin, a member of the FIFA Council, spoke very clearly on the possible repechage in the event of the ouster of Iran.

Evelina Cristillin, a member of the FIFA Council, spoke very clearly on the possible repechage in the event of the ouster of Iran.

Because? If anything, Fifa were forced to fill a box left vacant by a national team excluded for very serious reasons (as in the case of Iran), it would not be the Azzurri who would take their place, despite a very high position in the ranking (sixth placement), but a other team. And such an act was not even discussed in the recent Federation Council which took place in Qatar. “There was no mention of an exclusion of Iran from the World Cup, nor was there any reference to what happened in the country. In any case, even if they had been excluded, an Asian team would have entered in their place”. Who? One between Australia and the United Arab Emirates that will play the decisive match against Peru in the June playoff final. In or out it only applies to them. Alas, we stay home with much demerit and little honor.

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