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Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni has received a vote of confidence from the Italian Football Federation ahead of tonight’s Wednesday’s Euro 2004 qualifier with Wales.

Trapattoni is under pressure following Italy’s second-round exit from this year’s World Cup and a shaky start to their European championship qualifying campaign. Critics within the Italian media have orchestrated a cammpaign against the 63-year-old coach, but Trapattoni has ignored calls for his resignation.

Yesterday the coach spoke to Federation president Franco Carraro, who offered his support.

‘The president called Mr Trapattoni and Fabio Cannavaro to wish them luck and tell them there was no problem with Mr Trapattoni’s future,’ Federation vice-president Giancarlo Abete confirmed.

‘We are confident for the future,” Abete added. “The Wales match is not the ultimate match. It is not like a World Cup, where one defeat means elimination.

“There are eight games (in the qualifying group) and the (Wales) match is the third of them.”

Trapattoni brushed aside suggestions that the match with Wales could be his last in charge of the national side.

“I want to talk abut my players and the importance of this game, but I can say I have an excellent relationship -and the trust – of the team and the people close to me. And that is starting from the very top.”

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