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Italy's Trapattoni says he's not resigning

© Reuters 2002

By Simon Evans

CHONAN, South Korea, June 19 (Reuters) - Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni said there was no question of him resigning after his team's second round exit from the World Cup. Italy lost on a 'golden goal' to co-hosts South Korea on Tuesday, failing to make the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

"I have signed a contract. It is not up to me. I remain full of enthusiasm," said Trapattoni, who has two more years left on his contract. A spokesman for the Italian Football Federation said president Franco Carraro would present his view of the World Cup later this week.

But Trapattoni said he was satisfied with the way his team had performed in the tournament and wanted to continue his work. "Anyone who was here saw how we prepared and how we played. There are the European Championships ahead and we have to start off again and to take the initiative," said Trapattoni.

The Italy coach reiterated his criticism of what he called the "huge errors" refereeing in Italy's games in the World Cup and said his team were still getting over their exit. "There is a lot of bitterness and anger on the part of everyone. I have felt this as a player also," said Trapattoni.

Italy had five 'goals' disallowed in the tournament and Trapattoni had to deal with a series of questions about refereeing from Italian reporters but refused to be drawn on the main issue that concerned them about the match officials.

"Was it inability or a plot? I don't know," said the Italy coach adding that many World Cup referees, "were not used to the pressure that we are familiar with in Italy". But the 63-year-old, who had never coached at a World Cup before, was also able to reflect on the overall experience of the tournament.

"We worked very well, we worked hard, we had a laugh at times and we were in harmony. It's just a shame about the result. "We had the right attitude and enthusiasm - all in all it was a great experience," said Trapattoni, who is the most successful coach in Serie A history.

Defender Fabio Cannavaro also had an upbeat assessment of the team's overall performance. "I think in general, looking at all the games and all the chances we created and goals we had disallowed, then you could say we had the best attack in the World Cup," said Cannavaro.

Midfielder Damiano Tommasi, who gave a spirited showing against the South Koreans and whose extra time 'goal' was ruled out for offside controversially, remained dejected by the exit. "It hurts a lot to go out after you have given your all. The most hurtful thing of all is that we are out.

"We gave 100 percent but we are going home. This team suffered a blow in Euro 2000 as well even if that was different," said Tommasi referring to Italy's 'golden goal' defeat to France in the final.

Reports provided by

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