ITALY’S spectacular failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years has been greeted with a mixture of disbelief and humour by football fans.
The four-time world champions failed to score against Sweden in Milan last night, condemning the Azzurri to a 1-0 aggregate defeat over the two-legged playoff.
Fans in Italy watch with quiet despair as their team fails to qualify for the World Cup[/caption]
In Rome’s San Lorenzo district, the Le Mura bar, which showed the crunch game, emptied at the final whistle after the goalless stalemate.
“It is really very sad because watching the World Cup was something that really brought us together as Italians,” said recent graduate Stefania Pusateri, heading for the exit.
“But what is sure is that the shock will be even worse for my father. He is 54 years old and he has never had to go through something like this.”
Sitting alongside Pusateri, friend Davide Penna concurred. “I still can’t believe it has happened,” he said. “We have never experienced anything like this. It’s over.”
Italy failed to score against Sweden over two legs of a crunch playoff[/caption]
Goalkeeper Gigi Buffon, who was a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, has retired from international football following the exit[/caption]
Similar sentiments were voiced by fans coming out of the San Siro stadium in Milan after Monday’s 0-0 draw.
“I am disappointed with the whole football system in Italy,” said Mirko Palmieri. “It is the umpteenth failure of our country. Even here (at the San Siro), we can’t get the job done.”
Italy not being at the World Cup will be a new experience for most of the country’s fans, and few of them are looking forward to the experience of watching from the sidelines.
The four-time champions opted not to play at the first World Cup in 1930 but they have been present at every other edition apart from 1958, when they also failed to qualify.
Fans on Twitter called for manager Gian Piero Ventura to quit following the shock exit.
One fan created an online poll which showed the former Torino coach was more unpopular than Italy’s controversial former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Another distraught footy follower claimed he had slept drunk in the streets for the first time since he was a student after the country’s disastrous showing in the San Siro.
“I was born with Italy being a part of the World Cup, and it has always been like that,” one supporter said on his way out of the Milan stadium.
“Tomorrow I will wake up and my life will go on but this summer I will do something else.”
Another added: “The disappointment is a double one — first because we are not good, but second because we were beaten by a team that is even worse than us.”
The extent of the shock that non-qualification represents for Italian football was underlined by the pre-match confidence of most fans that captain Gigi Buffon and his teammates would pull through.
“It is not as if Sweden are that strong a team,” Fabio Votano, a Roman who was only a toddler when Italy last missed out on a World Cup final, had told AFPTV hours before kick-off.
“Not winning is completely unthinkable, basically something that has never happened before. For Italy, getting to the World Cup finals is almost a duty.”
Italy ended up in the playoffs as a result of finishing second in their qualifying group behind Spain.
They then put in a sluggish performance in the first leg in Sweden, when the home side edged a scrappy, physical affair thanks to substitute Jakob Johansson’s deflected shot just after the hour mark.
Rome resident Enrico Doddi insisted Italy’s players were good enough to have overcome Sweden.
“They’re playing miserably at the moment but Italy still has a good set of players in my opinion,” he said. “It is all down to mentality.
“You cannot have a good World Cup without Italy.”
Local newspapers spared no words on Tuesday in describing the country’s failure to qualify for the first time in six decades.
The Gazzetta dello Sport headline read “FINE” “The End” in big, block letters, while Turin daily La Stampa wrote “Apocalypse Azzurra”.
Rome daily Il Messaggero called it “A national shame”, and Rome sports daily Corriere dello Sport said “Everyone out”.
Heartbroken woman’s screams after neighbour shot her pet pit bull because it ran into his house and ‘came at him’
THIS heartbreaking video shows the moment a woman found out her pet pit bull had been shot dead by a neighbour after apparently running into their house. The woman, who has not been named, can be seen bursting into tears as she holds the dog and wails: “That is my baby! That is my baby!” […]
THIS heartbreaking video shows the moment a woman found out her pet pit bull had been shot dead by a neighbour after apparently running into their house.
The woman, who has not been named, can be seen bursting into tears as she holds the dog and wails: “That is my baby! That is my baby!”
A man off-camera can been heard saying: “I had to, he came in the house, he came after me, I’m sorry.”
But the woman argues that the animal, thought to be named Zeus, was “harmless” and had approached the house “with his tail wagging”.
She yells: “You had no reason to shoot him!”
A woman out of the shot is heard saying: “It came to my house and I am very afraid of dogs.”
The owner cries: “You’re going to jail for this,” as she runs over to her dog, who is lying on the front lawn, and begs for someone to call an ambulance.
“He’s still alive, dad,” she shouts to one of the men standing on the porch, who appears to be apologising to the homeowners.
The woman later admits her dog must have slipped off its chain while she was at work before she marches off screaming that the police are on their way.
The footage was uploaded to YouTube last year with the caption: “My dad killed a pitbull with his glock”.
Another clip from the same user was put online the next day and titled: “Part two of my dad killing a pit bull”.
It’s not clear where the footage was filmed, however the people in the video have American accents.
People in the comments section were torn over the situation, as many sided with the homeowner.
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One said: “Why he apologising? Vicious dog came to his private property and he has all rights to protect himself and his family.”
Another said: “A responsible owner wouldn’t have their dog running loose especially if it’s a pit bull”.
But a woman defending the pet owner asked: “Wouldn’t it have been quicker to close the door than search for a gun to shoot the dog?”
Builders’ fury after Hammond threatens to seize land from ‘hoarder’ developers
HOUSEBUILDERS have hit back at claims they are hoarding land for profit after Philip Hammond warned he would seize plots of lands if they are not built on. The Chancellor unveiled an inquiry into accusations of land banking as part of his Budget-pledge to ensure more homes are built. This move prompted outrage from builders […]
HOUSEBUILDERS have hit back at claims they are hoarding land for profit after Philip Hammond warned he would seize plots of lands if they are not built on.
The Chancellor unveiled an inquiry into accusations of land banking as part of his Budget-pledge to ensure more homes are built.
This move prompted outrage from builders who insist the planning system needs to be reformed.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “As has been proved by numerous independent investigations in the past, housebuilders do not land bank.
“Housebuilders have nothing to fear from a review of land banking and if it identifies non-housebuilders sitting on land and brings that forward for development, it would be a positive move.
“Any review should also focus on why so many plots that some suggest are in a ‘land bank’ are mired in the planning system, and identify ways to process them more quickly so they can be built.”
Philip Hammond has pledged to seize developers empty land if they refuse to build houses on it[/caption]
Between 2006 and 2015, planning permission was given for 2,035,835 homes but just 1,261,350 were built.
Campaigners have accused fat-cat firms of hoarding the land just to push up house prices – pricing needy families out of somewhere to buy.
The urgent review, led by former minister Sir Oliver Letwin, was one of a series of shake-ups ordered by the Chancellor yesterday to speed up building in the housing crisis.
Mr Hammond pledged to increase the number of homes built to 300,000 annually, in what he said will be “the biggest annual increase in housing supply since 1970”.
He also promised to increase the housing sector’s financial support by £15.3billion over the next five years, taking the total to over £44billion.
This figure will include £1.2billion earmarked for the Government to buy land to build more homes, and £2.7billion for infrastructure supporting housing.
Planning rules will also be reformed to encourage better use of land in cities and towns, while also protecting the green belt.
In overcrowded London alone, there are 270,000 residential planning permissions currently unbuilt, Mr Hammond said.
He told MPs of the review: “If it finds that vitally needed land is being withheld from the market for commercial reasons, we will intervene, using direct intervention compulsory purchase powers as necessary.”
He also insisted Theresa May’s vow at Tory conference to make the crisis top priority will be fulfilled.
Mr Hammond said: “The Prime Minister has said we will fix this problem. And no one should doubt this Government’s determination.”
Ministers will also draw up plans to build five new “garden towns” in areas where the demand for homes is greatest, delivered by public- private partnerships attracting cash from around the world.
The proposals include the construction of a million new houses between the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge and the new town of Milton Keynes.
The Chancellor also set up a new mega quango to deliver on his housing blueprint by expanding the Homes and Communities Agency and turning it into Homes England.
The strong body will help councils enforce the Government’s yearly housing target by 2025 by “bringing together money, expertise, and planning powers”, he said.
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But Mr Hammond faced criticism his housing package ducked away from major solutions.
One was Mrs May’s refusal to look again at building on green belt. Changes only apply to land in towns.
Shelter chief Polly Neate said: “The new 300,000 housing supply target is an important commitment which we welcome.”
Young woman dies after ‘falling out of a second-storey window while taking a selfie’ in London
A YOUNG woman has died after reportedly falling out of a second storey window while trying to take a selfie. But the “beautiful” Toni Kelly gave the final gift of life after her organs were donated to help save other lives in the UK, with friends saying she had been on life support for a […]
A YOUNG woman has died after reportedly falling out of a second storey window while trying to take a selfie.
But the “beautiful” Toni Kelly gave the final gift of life after her organs were donated to help save other lives in the UK, with friends saying she had been on life support for a week before she tragically passed away.
Unconfirmed reports from the Daily Mail suggested that the young woman had been trying to take a photo of herself, but this has not been confirmed by her family or authorities.
The young woman is understood to have only moved to Britain this year, with her family now raising funds to bring her body home after the “tragic accident”.
In the tribute fundraising page for Toni, friends said: “Toni was a young, happy and beautiful girl who has had a tragic accident while living overseas in London.
“Unfortunately Toni has sadly passed away due to her injuries. In her death Toni’s organs have been donated to help save other lives in the UK.”
Friends have since paid tribute to the young woman, with her family, of Whangarei, on New Zealand’s north island, having rushed to London to be by her side.
A friend wrote: “This is the most emotional draining and distressing time for any family to go through.”
Grieving sister Stacey also shared a photograph of herself with Toni, with the caption simply reading: “Always”.
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Friend Paige Hourigan told Daily Mail Australia how Toni was “a beautiful girl”.
She said: “I remember just laughing and giggling with her all the time about nothing. She was a beautiful girl that will definitely always be remembered, especially for that smile.”
Others wrote tributes to the young woman, with one saying: “Words aren’t enough to express our sadness for all of you. Dearest thoughts are with you all.”
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