Ventura sacked by Italy
Italy have acted swiftly following their World Cup failure with coach Giampiero Ventura losing his job.
The Azzurri lost out to Sweden in the play-off 1-0 on aggregate and therefore have failed to make the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958.
Ventura, who has been in management since 1976, starting out with Sampdoria, has been with the national side since June 2016 when he succeeded Antonio Conte and a year later had his contract extended until 2020.
However the failure to qualify for next year's final in Russia has persuaded the Italian football authorities to take action.
He said after the defeat to Sweden: "I can only apologise to the Italians, not for the will or effort but for the result which as I know is the main thing."
The end of their World Cup campaign also signalled time for some of the Azzurri's legendary players with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon ending an illustrious international career. Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Barzagli have also played their last games for Italy.
Speculation will now centre on who Italy look to as they prepare for the European Championships in 2020.
Carlo Ancelotti is thought likely to be a candidate. The highly experienced coach is out of work since being sacked by Bayern Munich in September but has a long record in club management and, having played for his country, may be tempted by the prospect of managing them.
Meanwhile, in Italy's absence, Brazil are 12121/1 to win the World Cup in Russia next year. Germany are 12121/1 with Russia priced at 12121/1.
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