Ancelotti calls for Serie A to be reduced from 20 teams to 18

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Carlo Ancelotti

Milan, December 4: He has been approached to replace Gian Piero Ventura and Carlo Ancelotti already has an idea to help restore Italy's reputation following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup – cull Serie A from 20 teams to 18.

Italian football descended in to chaos last month after the national team missed the World Cup for the first time since 1958, sensationally upstaged by Sweden in a play-off.

Ventura paid the price for failure, while Carlo Tavecchio resigned as the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) amid stinging criticism of the national team set-up.

The fallout from Italy's unsuccessful campaign has centred on foreigners, with past and present players and coaches blaming the four-time world champions' failed Russia 2018 bid on the number of overseas players competing in Serie A.

Ancelotti is favourite to fill the vacancy but the former Bayern Munich boss wants to remain in club football, though he believes Italy's top flight should revert to an 18-team competition, just like it was in 2003-04.

"The Federation contacted me, I spoke to them. I told them what I am telling you now, that I am honoured by so many people wanting me to be the coach of the Nazionale," the 58-year-old told La Domenica Sportiva.

"However, that would be like a whole other job. Working for the national team is different to being a club coach, as I still enjoy training and working every day. Italian football also has some problems that need to be resolved.

"I realise there is a conflict of interests between clubs and federations, as there is in Germany, France and England, but right now Italian football needs the Federation to impose its power over the clubs and impose new rules to improve the situation.

"For example, I think Serie A would benefit greatly by being reduced from 20 teams to 18 and I know there are clubs who are ready to vote for that."

Source: OPTA

Story first published: Monday, December 4, 2017, 5:30 [IST]
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