It would seem history had repeated itself in more than one way for Italy following the recent round of FIFA 2022 World Cup Qualifying fixtures that were played.
The UEFA European Championship Champions were held to a goalless draw with Northern Ireland on Monday night in Belfast that meant Switzerland were able to claim the sole automatic qualifying spot that Group C contained, thus forcing Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri to have to go through the playoff system.
Indeed, many would have been banking on the Italians to be able to advance without a hiccup on the night, with those who use netti-kasino.org likely to have felt as confident about their chances as they are in knowing that they will only ever receive the best online casino bonuses when they visit the site.
Nonetheless, Italy will be required to go through the playoffs and we all know what happened the last time that had happened… they failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals if you needed reminding.
However, it was not the only bit of history that seemed to repeat itself on the night as it was not the first time that the Azzurri had suffered whilst in Belfast.
In an article published by The Guardian, they remembered the clash between the sides in 1957 that had ended in a 2-2 draw. Ordinarily, that result would have been enough to have booked them a trip to the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, however Alfredo Foni decided he was not happy with the referee and demanded a rematch.
The original referee was unable to take control of the game, thus a local referee was called in as a replacement but after Foni continued his complaints, they saw the game be downgraded from being a qualifier to subsequently being classed as a friendly.
The rematch would take place in the new year, however a case of “be careful what you wish for” will have been felt as Foni’s calls would come to backfire on him as Northern Ireland ran out 2-1 winners. Even worse for the Azzurri, their flight to Sweden was cancelled as they were unable to participate in the World Cup that year.
Only a few Italian managers have not been able to take the team to a Finals – the man in 1930 who did not want to take the team to Uruguay for the inaugural competition because FIFA rejected Italy as a potential host nation for that edition and Gian Piero Ventura in 2017, however Roberto Mancini is extremely close to joining those two on that small list.
Italy will be seeded for the play-off round, though, which could bring them some comfort as it means they will miss the likes of Portugal and Scotland.