Graziano Pellè Kicked Out Of Italy Squad

Former Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has been kicked out of the Italy squad for "disrespectful behaviour."

The Italian FA (FIGC) announced on Friday morning that coach Gianpiero Ventura had "excluded" the forward from the squad to play FY Macedonia on Sunday in Skopje.

Pelle refused to shake his manager's hand and stormed to his seat in the dugout after being substituted with the Italians needing an equaliser in Thursday night's draw with Spain.

Ventura tried to play down the incident after the 1-1 draw in Turin . "These things happen," he said. "I think Graziano was more angry at himself and the way his performance went than anything else."

But a statement from the FIGC has since confirmed his removal from the squad.

"Being part of the national team involves the sharing of values of your teammates and the famous blue shirt.

"This starts with respect towards staff, teammates and supporters.
"The player will today return to his club."

Pelle later posted an apology on Instagram: "Unfortunately, I have once again made a mistake.

"It was unacceptable behavior, against the coach in the first place and also to my teammates, who have always shown to have team spirit in a fantastic Italy group that we all belong to.

"Like any great mistake, you always suffer the consequences. And it is only right that I take full responsibility. I must ask from the heart for forgiveness from everyone."

Pelle moved to Shandong Lueng for £13million this summer to sign a big-money deal.

The 31-year-old earns £125,000 per week in the Chinese Super League and will return to Asia shortly.

He was linked to Juventus and Lazio during the summer, while a move to play under his former national team boss Antonio Conte at Chelsea was also a possibility until he received the eye-watering offer.


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