Italy were so sure of qualifying for World Cup 2018 that they had even booked hotel stay in Russia, the host country. However, Italy shockingly did not qualify for the World Cup for the first time in sixty years.
The Italian FA confirmed the accommodation prior to their 1-0 loss to Sweden in the play-off. With preferred residences already taken by major countries, the Denmark FA plan to step in and make use of Italy’s pre-booked accommodation in Russia.
The CEO of Danish football Claus Bretton-Meyer told Sport TV2 that banking on Italian booking is an option even though there is a big difference between the preferences of the two sides. “The big countries have settled in the bigger venues, and so we need to see what we can get. I’m sure it’s also there (for consideration). Now there is a big difference between the preferences of the Danes and Italians. But it is clear that we can end up in a situation where we must get what we can get,” he said. Christian Eriksen smashed in a hat-trick against Ireland to help Denmark qualify for the World Cup.
It was a heartbreak for the four times champions Italy, who went down against Sweden in play-off. It also saw the end of a tearful 39-year old Gianluigi Buffon’s international career. Italy’s manager Giampiero Ventura was fired after the Azzurri’s failure to qualify for the World Cup.