Italian football chief Giancarlo Abete believes the national team will not be affected by the turmoil afflicting the domestic game when they face Scotland in Saturday’s crucial 2008 qualifier.
Italy meet Scotland at Hampden Park just days after a policeman shot dead a Lazio fan which resulted in violent clashes across the country.
Abete said: “This is an important week for Italian football. But the national team has the support of the nation.
“Saturday’s encounter is a difficult game but the team is preparing well.”
The death of 26-year-old supporter Gabriele Sandri, killed accidentally by a policeman at a motorway service station near Arezzo on Sunday, led to violence between fans and police across Italy.
The Italy team have retreated to the Coverciano training camp in Florence – their base during the match-fixing scandal ahead of last year’s World Cup.
And captain Fabio Cannavaro believes that the team will not be distracted by the events of the past week.
He said: “We have faced situations like this before here at Coverciano and come through.”