The post-mortem following the Italy Men’s National Team‘s terrible showing at the 2024 European Championship is well underway with huge questions being asked of Luciano Spalletti as coach, and also of those who appointed him in the first place.

The primary focus is on the coach after Italy produced one acceptable performance and three terrible ones in Germany, but the future of FIGC – the Italian Football Federation – president Gabriele Gravina is not secure either with elections originally scheduled for less than a year from now.

As far as Spalletti is concerned, he knows he made some incorrect choices but is also aware that he has not been in the job long. He said after Italy’s Euro 2024 elimination: “The responsibility always lies with the coach. I made the choices even though I had only 10 matches before the tournament. We lacked pace and individual quality, in the future I will make different choices. Now I will talk to Gravina and we will see.”

There has been confirmation that Spalletti will stay in his role for now, but Gravina has opted to bring the FIGC presidential elections forward. They were going to be held in March 2025 but will now be on November 4, 2024, at the wish of Gravina.

The president made the announcement and said: “My term expires in 2025, we were already organizing elections at the earliest date we can. We will turn to democracy, that is the only way.”

Spalletti remains with two tournaments around the corner

The news that Spalletti will stay as Italy coach is not a huge surprise. He certainly made mistakes in Germany but his known quality and the fact he has not been in the job very long cannot be overlooked. On a professional level, leaving now would likely see Spalletti out of work when the 2024/25 club season begins with the most desirable jobs in Italy and Europe having already been taken.

Italy coach Luciano Spalletti during training at Euro 2024. [@Azzurri]

The Azzurri would also be left needing to find a new coach who can settle in before they take on France in the (Men’s) UEFA Nations League on September 6.

With Belgium and Israel the other teams in that group, Italy can’t afford a slow start. Belgium and France are tough opponents, whilst Israel present an unpredictable challenge as there is talent in the squad but as a nation it is committing genocide in Palestine, so there is pressure on authorities to stop their involvement.

Finishing fourth in the group would see Italy relegated to League B, bringing further embarrassment.

As well as the Nations League, qualification for the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico will soon be underway and Italy simply cannot miss another World Cup.

FIGC elections moved forward

Spalletti is certainly not out of the woods yet, though. With the elections coming in the midst of the Nations League campaign, there could be a situation where Gravina is ousted and a new president is left with an Italy coach who (currently) has a poor record in the job and they did not choose.

This makes for an undesirable work environment and the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico will be just over one year away. There is a risk of jeopardising the qualification campaign for that tournament. Of course, the Azzurri may have turned a corner under Spalletti by November and a new president will see no issue leaving the former Napoli coach in his post.

Italy will have played four of their six Nations League group games by the time Gravina is either confirmed in his post or replaced, so there will be some indication as to whether Spalletti and the players have learned from their mistakes at the Euro 2024 or not.