Monday, November 20, 2023 – Ukraine head coach, Serhiy Rebrov has slammed UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin for his biased statement after he said it would be a ‘disaster’ if Italy fail to qualify for Euro 2024.
Third-place Ukraine will take on second-place Italy on Monday night, November 20, and a win for Rebrov’s side will see them earn qualification for Euro 2024 ahead of Italy.
Italy needs to avoid defeat to qualify, but a loss means they could go out the same way they crashed out of the playoffs for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Ahead of the game, Rebrov revealed in a press conference that his players will be ‘angry’ heading into the game after comments made by Ceferin.
Speaking to media outlet LaPresse, Ceferin said the Italian team was ‘too important’ not to qualify and that it would be a ‘disaster’ if they did not.
Ceferin said: ‘Italy must qualify for Euro 2024, otherwise it will be a disaster, the Italian national team is too important, but I think it will beat Ukraine.’
Ceferin’s comments sparked outrage in the Ukrainian footballing community but Rebrov has insisted his players will use it as motivation for the game.
The former Dynamo Kyiv, Tottenham and West Ham forward insisted: ‘We’re not interested in what he [Čeferin] has to say, it’s not our job to focus on such comments.
‘But all that they can really do is have an impact on my players to make them more angry and motivated to qualify, I think we have a good chance.
‘It is one thing to play against North Macedonia or Malta, with respect, but when we play England or Italy, it is different.
‘This is a game when we have to show our face. We made lots of mistakes in Italy, but we understand our responsibility in this game and what we have to do.’