FLORENCE, Italy (AP) – Italy plans to keep coach Cesare Prandelli in place no matter how the Azzurri fare at the upcoming European Championship.
Italian soccer federation president Giancarlo Abete said Monday that ''the outcome of the Euros is not a variable for Prandelli's confirmation.''
Prandelli signed a four-year contract to replace Marcello Lippi after Italy's embarrassing first-round exit from the 2010 World Cup.
Prandelli says: ''I have a contract with the national team until 2014 and I want to respect it. But I'll be tested for results at the Euros just like every other coach.''
Italy has a difficult group, opening against defending champion Spain, then facing Croatia and Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland.