Italy send Graziano Pelle home after refusing to shake coach's hand

Former Southampton man will return to Shandong Luneng early

BY Jason Brennan 14:51 Friday 7 October 2016, 14:51 7 Oct 2016

Picture Credit: Antonio Calanni AP/Press Association Images

Graziano Pelle has been excluded from the Italian National Squad for their upcoming fixture with Macedonia following a disagreement with coach Giampiero Ventura.

The Shandong Luneng striker will return to China early after he refused to shake Ventura's hand following his substitution during Italy's 1-1 draw with Spain last night.

The 31-year-old was replaced by Ciro Immobile before walking directly past his manager's outstretched hand. While Ventura understood his frustration, claiming that Pelle was more annoyed at his own performance than the substitution itself, he stated that "when you wear the Italian shirt you have to me more careful".

The FIGC, the Italian football federation, have released a statement regarding the decision which said "The head coach Gian Piero Ventura, together with the FIGC [Italian Football Federation], has decided to exclude Graziano Pelle from the list of players for the game with Macedonia on Sunday, Oct. 9 in Skopje due to his disrespectful behaviour at the moment of his substitution in the game against Spain yesterday.

"Being part of the national team means sharing the values and assuming an attitude which is in keeping with the Azzurra shirt, and this begins with showing respect for the staff, teammates and fans. The player will return to his club today".



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