Italy's Giampiero Ventura backed by FIGC for sending Graziano Pelle home

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio has backed Italy coach Giampiero Ventura for sending Graziano Pelle home following Thursday night's World Cup qualifier against Spain.

Pelle was released from international duty after both refusing to shake the hand of Ventura when substituted in the 1-1 draw, and then for making his feelings known about the coach while sat on the bench.

"I don't know what he said and I'm not a lip reader, but [team manager Gabriele] Oriali explained everything and, given what was said, it was impossible not to consider the severity of those words," Tavecchio is quoted as saying by Mediaset.

"It was hard to take a decision like this, but if we are honest, it was inevitable. There was even his behaviour which the whole world saw to consider."

Pelle issued an apology via Instagram after the match taking responsibility for the incident.

"Eh si!!Purtroppo,mi capita nuovamente di fare una cavolata­čś░.Un comportamento inaccettabile,nei confronti del mister in primis e di riflesso ai miei compagni ,che hanno sempre dimostrato di avere dei valori importanti all'interno di un fantastico gruppo ITALIA nel quale facciamo parte.Come ogni errore grave,si subiscono sempre delle conseguenze.Ed e' giustissimo che io mi prenda delle responsabilit├á sull'accaduto.Era doveroso rivolgere le scuse di cuore a tutti". Graziano

A photo posted by Graziano Pell├Ę (@gpelle19_official) on

"Well yes, unfortunately it's happened again that I've made a mess," he wrote. "It was unacceptable behaviour towards the coach, first and foremost, and subsequently to my teammates, who have always shown important values within a fantastic Italy group which we are part of.

"Like with every serious mistake, there are consequences. It's absolutely correct that I take responsibility for what happened. It was necessary that I apologised to everybody from my heart."

Tavecchio also praised Ventura for taking such a drastic decision so early on in his Italy reign.

"Let's let him work because he's a great person who is very serious and I am totally convinced with my choice [in appointing him]," he said.

Pelle's replacement, Ciro Immobile, scored twice with Andre Belotti also on target as Italy beat Macedonia 3-2 on Sunday.