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Cesare Prandelli extends Italy contract

Cesare Prandelli has extended his contract as Italy's national team coach until 2016, the Italian Football Association (FIGC) has confirmed.

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The announcement was made during a news conference, which was delayed by over an hour with Prandelli putting pen to paper on his new work agreement.

He will remain in charge of the Squadra Azzurra until the end of Euro 2016.

"I'm sorry for the delay, but it was due to the fact that we were signing a new contract," Prandelli said at the start of a news conference at Coverciano. "Let's not expand on the details now, though, because we've got an objective which is far too important coming up."

Prandelli replaced Marcello Lippi at the helm of the Italy national team following a disappointing showing at the 2010 World Cup. He led them to runners-up spot at Euro 2012 and third at last summer's Confederations Cup, while they are rated as an outside bet for the World Cup this summer.

His future had been in doubt earlier this year when he hinted he was tempted by a return to club management. The 56-year-old insisted that his future would be decided prior to the World Cup, and he has stuck to his word by signing on the dotted line less than three weeks ahead of Italy's opening World Cup fixture against England.

"We'll be able to talk about projects and programmes from September," Prandelli added on Monday. "I have been willing to sign a new contract for the past two months and we've been using this time to draw up the agreement, which wasn't particularly difficult."

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