Football: Platt says farewell to unlikely Italian job

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The Independent Online
THE FORMER England captain David Platt yesterday resigned from his role as team supervisor with the Serie A strugglers, Sampdoria, following a torrid seven weeks at the club.

Platt had come under increasing fire since taking over at the Genoese club on 17 December, with his appointment beset with controversy from the beginning, after the Italian football federation declared he had insufficiient qualifications to coach the club.

The 32-year-old former England and Arsenal midfielder was unable to take his place on the bench or even communicate directly with his assistant, Giorgio Veneri, during games, and was even forced to conduct press conferences in car parks.

After Sampdoria picked up just two points from the six games he was involved in, Platt called it a day yesterday. "At a time when I was on a steep learning curve, I really could have done with fewer obstacles being placed in my way," he said. "I will continue my preparation for management back in the UK. At 32, I still have time on my side."

Sampdoria's president, Enrico Mantovani, said: "David was not allowed to do his job for which he was appointed and therefore cannot and should not be judged on his time with us. David will always be a friend to Sampdoria, and I hope he gets all the success in his career which he fully deserves."

Marco Branca, the former Internazionale striker, has threatened to report Middlesbrough to Fifa, football's world governing body, over the club's refusal to allow him to resume his career with them. Boro announced last month that the career of the 34-year-old was over because of a serious knee injury, but he is contesting their verdict.

Newcastle United have successfully appealed to the German football federation to allow Dietmar Hamann to miss an international friendly against the United States in Florida on Saturday and play instead in the Premiership match against Leeds United. However, the Magpies will still be without Alan Shearer and Nikos Dabizas because of suspension.

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