Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni has vowed to remain in his post despite mounting pressure in Italy for him to be replaced following the shock second round exit to South Korea on Tuesday.
“It doesn’t depend on me what happens, it’s up to the Italian football federation (FIGC) to decide if I am the right man to continue,” he said.
“I have a contract that runs for two more years to 2004 and we discussed it before the World Cup began. I know that my next game is a friendly in August against Slovenia.”
Trapattoni blamed poor refereeing for Italy’s defeat, citing the the dismissal of Francesco Totti for diving and the decision to disallow Damiano Tommasi’s golden goal offside. It was the fifth goal disallowed for Trapattoni’s team in three games.
“I’m satisfied with everything the team has done,” Trapattoni added. “Twenty million Italians watched these matches on television and everybody saw what happened.”
After initial sympathy in Italy for the manner of the team’s exit, there have growing signs that Trapattoni is seen as culpable for employing negative tactics, despite enjoying a wealth of attacking options in the squad.
Trapattoni, however, remains unmoved.
“We worked hard, we worked very well,” he said. “We also found time to joke and to amuse ourselves. We are a great group and their was a great feeling in the squad. The only thing I can’t accept is the result and the way it happened.
“We were so enthusiastic, and the result aside, it was a great experience, in my opinion, for everyone involved.”