FIFA has confirmed it will not make any changes to the way Italy play for the World Cup, despite an increase in domestic and international players, as a new proposal was unveiled on Friday.
The changes will be presented at a meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee, which is scheduled for May 5 in Zurich.
The committee is expected to adopt the proposals by the end of the month.
Italy have the most points in World Cup qualifying after winning the World Championship and qualifying for the group stages with a 4-0 victory over Honduras on Thursday.
But the country has suffered a string of injuries, with the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi all missing the World Championships due to injuries.
On Friday, FIFA’s sporting director, Jerome Valcke, made it clear that the committee would not alter the format of Italy’s matches in Brazil, with players from the domestic leagues and Italy’s internationals to be excluded.
“The format of matches in 2018 and 2022 will not be altered, but we want to look at other aspects of the competition in the next six months,” Valckel said.
Italy are the only major European team to have failed to qualify for the finals of the World Cups, which they won in South Africa in 2014.
The previous two World Cup finalists, Germany and Japan, qualified through the group stage, while England finished third.
The proposal will see Italy lose its three domestic domestic cup competitions in the 2019-20 season and the two domestic cup matches in 2022, as well as one of their three internationals.
It will also mean the Italy’s first World Cup qualification matches will be against teams from the lowest leagues of Europe, while the other two qualifiers will be drawn in the same manner.
“We’re not saying this because it’s important to us, it’s not about football, it is about the football,” Valcarke said.
“The reason why we are proposing this is because the World Football Federation, the governing body for football in the European Union, has not given us the green light to change the format.”
The proposal was met with a degree of scepticism in Italy, with some calling it “anti-Italian”, while the national coach, Massimo Cardoso, said it would “send a terrible message”.
The Italian Football Federation is expected, however, to support the proposal.
“We are not against football, we have a very good game, we want the World Series and the World Club Championships to be played,” Cardoso said.
“It’s good that we are moving forward, but the Italian Federation will also be supporting this.”