Italy will head to the women’s World Cup without veteran skipper Sara Gama, the Juventus star a noticeable absentee at the squad’s pre-tournament training camp on Monday.
Gama, a pivotal figure in the national squad, was omitted from the list of 32 players, which will be whittled down to 23 after Saturday’s World Cup warm-up against Morocco.
The 34-year-old has been at the head of the national game for years, captain both on and off the pitch where she has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of women players.
Despite enduring a difficult time with a disappointing Euro 2022 and injuries she was upset at the decision to cast her aside.
“After being called up and following like my teammates the required fitness preparation issued by the Italian team management… I found out only three days ago that I wouldn’t be part of the squad,” the defender wrote on social media.
Italian coach Milena Bertolini told a press conference: “Don’t think I made this choice lightly.
“There are lots of youngsters who are coming along well and doing good things.
“I thought long and hard to be certain it was the right decision.”
Gama said she was exploring with the team’s hierarchy the possibility of joining the squad in Australia and New Zealand in a managerial capacity.
Italy begin their World Cup campaign against Argentina on July 24.
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