Tuesday was a rough day for the Italian national football team.
The squad lost to Uruguay, 1-0, which ended their World Cup, in large part because referee Marco Rodriquez sent off Claudio Marchisio on a straight red card in the 59th minute after he stomped the leg of Uruguay's Egidio Arevalo. It then appeared that Luis Suarez bit defender Giorgio Chiellini in the 79th minute, but the referee made no decision. And after the match, manager Cesare Prandelli resigned.
FIFA revealed the news on Twitter:
Ben Smith of BBC Sports shared more on the decision:
Honourable stuff from Prandelli. He says he didn't want anyone to say he was "robbing the Italian tax payers." pic.twitter.com/eEM2Vk6zKB— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) June 24, 2014
"The technical set-up didn't work, and I take all responsibility for that," Prandelli said, via FIFA.com. "Something has changed since my contract was renewed. I don't know why. I chose a certain technical plan and that's why I am resigning, because it did not work."
But there's more, as the president of the Italian FA, Giancarlo Abete, has also stepped down, via Smith:
The head of the Italian Football Federation has also just resigned. He has, however, asked Prandelli to reconsider— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) June 24, 2014
"I would like to announce my resignation," Abete said, via FIFA.com. "I do hope that at the forthcoming meeting of the board, they can persuade Cesare [Prandelli] to reconsider his position."
Both moves will surely come as a surprise, namely the resignation of Prandelli, who many will feel doesn't necessarily deserve blame for Italy's performance in Brazil. Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly Sport is among them:
Italy went out of the World Cup for a lot of reasons, but I don’t think Cesare Prandelli was one of them.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) June 24, 2014
Dermot Corrigan of ESPN added the following:
Italy out already harsh on Prandelli. Stuck to possession plan [which he's been lauded for] to end. Until Marchisio red it was working.— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 24, 2014
Prandelli took over as manager after the 2010 World Cup, which also saw Italy eliminated in the group stage. He led the Italians to the final of the 2012 Euros, where they lost to Spain, before leading them back to the World Cup, where many felt they were the favorites in a loaded Group D.
But it wasn't to be, and now the questions will certainly be about Italy's future. Prandelli had attempted to evolve Italy's tactics, but will the next manager continue in that vein or return to a more traditional Italian style?
After Tuesday, the future of the Italian national team is as uncertain as it has been in years. It's a day that will long remain in infamy for the Azzurri.