Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has paid the price for overseeing the country's first failure to reach a World Cup since 1958. Carlo Ancelotti, recently sacked by Bayern Munich, is among the favorites for the job.
The Italian football federation (FIGC) confirmed the inevitable on Wednesday after Italy's aggregate loss to Sweden ended their World Cup 2018 hopes.
"As of today Gian Piero Ventura is no longer the coach of the national team," the FIGC said in a statement after Ventura, 69, refused to resign.
Ventura defended his leadership as having "one of the best records in 40 years" despite failing to lead the four-time winners to their 19th World Cup.
"I lost only two games in two years," he had told Italian television show Le Iene. In fact, Ventura had lost three.
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He took charge of Italy after Euro 2016, when Antonio Conte - now at Chelsea - took the Azzurri to the quarterfinals, where they lost on penalties to Germany. But the former Torino, Bari and Napoli boss couldn't inspire his players as questions continued to swirl about formations and tactics.
Though he said last month that he planned to take a 10 month break from football following his sacking by Bayern Munich, Carlo Ancelotti has already emerged as the frontrunner for the job.
The former Real Madrid, AC Milan and Juventus boss won 26 caps for Italy as a player and may enjoy the more sedate pace of international management.
Conte and Zenit Saint Petersburg coach Roberto Mancini are also thought to be potential contenders for the job.