For the first time since 1958, four-time champions Italy will not be in the World Cup. Carlo
Tavecchio, the president of the Italian Football Federation, said, “Failing to qualify would
be like the Apocalypse.” On November the 20th, the Azzuri did fail to qualify when they
lost to Sweden in a play-off match in the second leg of the European qualifiers. The entire
nation immediately fell into mourning. Was this the Italian Apocalypse?
But what are the Italians mourning about? Is it pride? Or does it go deeper than that?
Does the average Tifosi know that the national team will miss out on 100m Euros in
potential revenues by not qualifying? Does he/she know that bonuses from sponsors, TV and prize money will go untapped? Does the average Tifosi know that the FIGC’s bargaining position with Puma, just to give one example, will be weakened, and that the TV rights and advertising rights have already lost their value?
The list grows longer. Many eople have already subconsciously decided not to buy new television sets or book a trip with travel operators to Russia. And perhaps the most painful of all, cheering for the Azurri will be non existant.
Not only will pride be affected, but pockets and cash registers all around the country will
feel the failure.
But what if Italy get that free pass to the 2018 World Cup……?