Baden, June 23:
Italy coach Roberto Donadoni was barely holding onto his job on Monday after the World Cup champions were eliminated from the Euro 2008 quarter-finals.
Spain beat Italy 4-2 on penalties following a 0-0 draw on Sunday, and the consensus in the Italian media the following day was that Donadoni had reached â€œthe end of the line.â€ But Donadoni is refusing to bow out until he is ordered to do so.
â€œIf you guys have fresher news than me, I donâ€™t know, but Iâ€™m calm, and Iâ€™m not very worried about it,â€ Donadoni told a press conference, adding that he never considered resigning. â€œAbsolutely not. Absolutely not. I donâ€™t see why decisions like this should be made if a game is won or lost on penalties, with everything decided by one metre more or one metre less. It seems like stupid reasoning. I donâ€™t see why I should resign. That would seem excessive.â€
Donadoni was given a two-year contract extension before the tournament, but the deal includes an escape clause. â€œOver the next few days we will reflect and make a decision,â€ Italian football federation president Giancarlo Abete said immediately after the game. â€œIt doesnâ€™t make any sense to make a decision in the heat of the moment.â€
Donadoni said that too much should not be read into Abeteâ€™s words. â€œI think the fact that he doesnâ€™t say much might be part of his character, which is similar to my own,â€ Donadoni said. â€œI donâ€™t want to force anyoneâ€™s hand. Thatâ€™s not the way I think. Iâ€™m moving forward serenely. Weâ€™ll see over the next 10 days. Itâ€™s useless to make calculations.â€
Marcello Lippi, who guided Italy to the 2006 World Cup title, is reportedly set to return in charge if Donadoni is fired. â€œEverything that I did, I did very seriously and with hard work,â€ Donadoni said. â€œEveryone can judge for themselves.â€