Former Italy coach Ventura quits second tier Salernitana

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FILE PHOTO: 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Italy vs Sweden
FILE PHOTO: 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Italy vs Sweden

ROME (Reuters) - Former Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura, famously in charge when they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, quit second-tier Salernitana on Saturday after his side blew their chance to make the promotion playoffs.

Salernitana had needed a win at home to Spezia on Friday to finish in the top eight of Serie B and qualify but, after taking the lead, lost 2-1 and ended up in 10th.

Earlier on Saturday, the newspaper Il Tempo posted a video of club president Claudio Lotito making a mobile phone call in a restaurant in which he was heard to insult the 72-year-old coach and criticise his substitutions.

It was not clear to whom Lotito, also president of Serie A club Lazio, was talking.

"It is clear that some mistakes have been made by all of us but, despite this, I believe that solid foundations have been laid this season for the club to achieve future goals," said Ventura, who had been in charge for one season, on the club website.

Ventura led Italy for one year and four months when they missed out on the World Cup for the first time in 60 years. In his next job, he quit struggling Serie A club Chievo after four games.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis)