Roberto Mancini says it is “pretty unfair” that Italy and Spain fans will not be able to travel for Tuesday’s Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley.
Covid-19 travel restrictions mean supporters of both countries are unable to fly to England for the game, despite the permitted capacity at Wembley being increased to 60,000.
It means the only supporters of either side will be those who are already based in the UK, with the majority likely to be neutrals.
What did Mancini say?
Speaking about the ticketing situation, Azzurri head coach Mancini told reporters: “I think it’s pretty unfair if I’m perfectly honest.
“We’re better off playing in front of any crowd as opposed to playing in front of a small number of people; that’s what’s great about football and entertainment in general. But I do think it’s very unfair that we don’t have half the stadium full of Italian fans and half the stadium full of Spaniards.”
Mancini wary of favourites tag
Italy go into the game as favourites having gone unbeaten in their last 32 matches, breaking an 82-year-old national record in the process.
That record-breaking run includes 13 successive victories, most recently an impressive 2-1 win over the world’s number-one ranked side Belgium in the quarter-final.
Despite that fine form Mancini is cautious about his side’s chances at Wembley.
“I hope it is right [that Italy will win] but we know it won’t be that easy,” he said.
“We know that we need to produce a big performance because Spain are a top side. Despite the fact they have brought through some younger players, they still have an excellent squad and a very capable coach, so it will be a tough match.”