Ex-international Bright Omokaro on Monday said that the inability of Italy to qualify for the 2018 Russia World Cup would dampen the morale of the current generation of players.
Omokaro made the remark in an interview with the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The four-time World Champions could not qualify for the FIFA flagship tournament, after they lost 0-1 away and played a 0-0 draw at home with Sweden.
The last time Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup was the 1958 edition that was hosted by Sweden.
“The Italian players will not be happy after failing to qualify for the number one football tournament in FIFA’s calendar because they know the World Cup is the ultimate platform to showcase their talent to prospective employers.
“Let’s put it that way and then that opportunity is not there, it will really bring down their morale.
“If we look at Nigeria today with the qualifier, it has made everybody to be happy; that is football for you,” he said.