Italian national team striker Graziano Pelle has been sent home from the Italy squad after refusing to shake Giampiero Ventura’s hand after getting substituted in the 1-1 draw against Spain.
Pelle, 31, was taken off in the second half of the World Cup qualifier between Italy and Spain on Thursday. Pelle stormed off the pitch and didn’t shake Ventura’s hand. The coach seems to have seen the matter resolved.
“These things happen,” Ventura said. “I think Graziano was more angry at himself and the way his performance went than anything else.”
But the Italian Football Federation has decided to sent Pelle back to his club Shandong Luneng in China.
“Manager Giampiero Ventura, in agreement with the FIGC, has decided to exclude Graziano Pelle from the squad for the Macedonia match because of his disrespectful behaviour when he was replaced,” a FIGC statement read.
“To be part of the national team implies the sharing of common values and behaviour conforming to the wearing of the blue shirt, beginning with respect towards the management, players and fans.”
Pelle later apologized for his behavior in a post on social media.
“I’ve done something stupid. I behaved unacceptably towards the boss and to my teammates, who have always displayed their values in this fantastic group of which we’re part,” Pelle posted on Instagram.
“Every serious mistake inevitably has its consequences and it’s absolutely right that I take responsibility for what’s happened. It’s my duty to say I’m sorry.”
Italy takes on Macedonia in a qualifier on Sunday.