Wednesday 21 March 2018

Player release row hits Italy plans

ITALY, Ireland's final group opponents at the Euro 2012 finals, have been drawn into a row over the release of players in the build-up to the tournament in June.

The Italian FA (FIGC) had asked Serie A clubs to release players to link up with the national team ahead of the finals, but the clubs have said no -- a decision which has annoyed Italian federation officials and Azzurri manager Cesare Prandelli.

"We have lost a useful and important opportunity to better prepare for the European Championships," said FIGC president Giancarlo Abete. "We have to take this chance to better reflect on the fixture calendar."

Giovanni Trapattoni will have his spies out as Italy have confirmed two friendlies ahead of the finals.

The Italians will play Luxembourg in a home friendly -- the venue has yet to be decided -- on May 29.

Trap and the Ireland squad will be in Italy on that date for their own training camp in Montecatini and if the match venue is accessible, Trap may decide to take in the game himself. The Italians will also play Russia in Zurich on June 1.

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