It was a shock to everyone when Italy crashed out of the World Cup qualifying stages after a 0-0 draw with Sweden last month. Big, starchy Azzurri tears were shed on the San Siro pitch as Gianluigi Buffon realised he wouldn’t see of his incredible career with one last go at the mundial.
But the Italian press hasn’t given up, even if the players have. They’ve actually managed to find a glimmer of hope that could see the national team packing their Gucci bags for Russia.
According to Italian newspaper Libero, there’s a chance that recently qualified Peru might be thrown out of the competition due to government interference with the country’s football associations.
Congresswoman Paloma Noceda wants the Institute of Sport to control football in the country, firmly going against FIFA’s rule around state involvement in the game.
Tuttosport, buoyed by the unlikely prospect of the South Americans getting chucked from the World Cup, has suggested that Italy’s sterling record means they’re the mostly likely candidate to take their place.
Will Peru go through with it? Probably not. But stranger things have happened.