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Updated Tuesday July 4, 2000
Zoff resigned after attack from Berlusconi
By Ivan Speck

Italian national coach Dino Zoff has resigned after his side's 2-1 defeat in the final of Euro 2000 against France on Sunday.

His resignation comes after he was severely criticised for his tactics in refusing to man-mark Zinedine Zidane and his side's defensive approach throughout the tournament.

Zoff had been under pressure even before the tournament began after embarassing defeats against Norway and Belgium and few people in Italy believed a side under Zoff had much chance of success.

But an impressively easy qualification from Group B raised the country's expectations and after riding their luck against the Dutch in the semi-final hope was at its highest.

Losing to a last gasp equaliser and a Golden Goal was too much for some early critics to let pass though and the influential owner of AC Milan, Silvio Berlusconi, could not resist another crack at a coach he had taken much delight in criticising before.

Berlusconi said after the final that he was 'indignant' that Zoff had not assigned a man to mark Zinedine Zidane, saying the result of the final would have been different if he had.

In a protracted tirade from the centre-right leader he also described Zoff's strategy as 'undignified' and 'the actions of one of the last amateur coaches'.

Zoff immediately replied with a press conference in which he declared his intention to reply 'personally' to Berlusconi. He also handed in his resignation.

It is not yet known whether his resignation has been aceepted by the Italian FA. Zoff becomes the third Euro 2000 semi-final coach to have left his team after the resignations of Portugal's Humberto Coelho and Holland's Frank Rijkaard.

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