Fabbricini named emergency leader of Italy soccer federation

Roberto Fabbricini, newly named special commisioner of the Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) attends a press conference at CONI headquarters in Rome Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. Fabbricini was appointed emergency leader of the Italian soccer federation on Thursday after a 10-hour election earlier this week failed to find a replacement for Carlo Tavecchio.(Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

Roberto Fabbricini was appointed emergency leader of the Italian football federation on Thursday after a 10-hour election this week failed to find a replacement for Carlo Tavecchio.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), which oversees all sports in Italy, named its secretary general as emergency leader and appointed former Italy and AC Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta and Angelo Clarizia as vice-commissioners.

”There are a lot of matters on the table, I have a great team to work with to give football the role it deserves,” Fabbricini said at a news conference in Rome. ”I just want to underline one thing; when my name began to circulate, I heard grumblings as if I was a person new to this world, almost a parvenu. I am not a nobody.”

CONI president Giovanni Malago said the emergency measures would last six months and could then be extended.

”I believe that this is the best path, the right one,” Malago said. ”The criteria was clear: These people are important, none of them have had previous roles within the FIGC. There’s a discontinuance with the previous governance.

”We have to avoid the risk that when these emergency measures end the FIGC could find itself in a similar situation.”

Already in crisis following Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup, emergency measures were imposed on the FIGC after four failed votes to elect a new president on Monday.

The election was called after Tavecchio resigned in November after Italy’s playoff loss to Sweden meant the four-time champion missed out on the World Cup for the first time in six decades.

It also meant the end for coach Gian Piero Ventura, who was fired two days after the playoff loss.

Among the leading candidates to replace Ventura are Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte, and Roberto Mancini.

”We’ll start talking about (the national coach) as soon as we leave this room,” Costacurta said. ”The names are those that have already been mentioned, people who I played with and against.

”We have to start with interviews, we are not rushed for time, but we have to start moving and go talk with them as soon as possible.”

Italy’s next match is on March 23, a friendly against Argentina in Manchester. Four days later, it plays England in London.

It does not play a competitive fixture until Sept. 7 when it hosts Poland in its first UEFA Nations League match.

”We have to reconnect the love between the national team and our country,” Fabbricini said. ”The affection has not been lacking but we need to immediately show direction and certainty.

”One of the priorities will be giving a coach to the national team for these two friendlies … it won’t be a stopgap solution but a qualified person to give a more stable framework.”

Fabbricini said he would work with the three candidates from the election: Amateur leagues president Cosimo Sibilia; Serie C president Gabriele Gravina; and Players’ Association president Damiano Tommasi.

He also named Malago as the emergency leader of Serie A, which has been without a president since April.

”We have to do so many things, at a judicious pace. We must have a contact with the whole world of football with all its components,” he said. ”Everyone will have to collaborate. We have to do it so we can give to whoever will take charge of the FIGC, a great family ready to get itself back up.”