Lippi rules out return to club coaching

ROME- Marcello Lippi has ruled out returning to club coaching when his stint as Italy boss is up.

"I say this officially - after my experience with the national team you will never see me coach a club again," Lippi told Swiss media expert and freelance journalist Klaus Davi.

"In part it's because I couldn't be there answering the pundits' questions for half an hour after a match that has not gone well," he added in an interview broadcast on the Internet on Wednesday.

The 61-year-old took over the national team in 2004 and led them to World Cup victory two years later after having proven he was a winner in two successful stints at Juventus.

He quit after the 2006 triumph in Germany but returned to replace Roberto Donadoni after the Azzurri's poor showing at Euro 2008.

Lippi, who has also coached Inter Milan and Napoli, said he could see plenty of positives in the effects the global economic downturn was having on football.

"The economic crisis is hitting the world of football deeply. It's restoring its health, bringing its feet back on to the ground," he said, citing Inter Milan and AC Milan's relatively prudent transfer market activity.

"The economic crisis has brought out a desire in almost all managers to downsize this toy. As in Formula One, this resolution to reduce (costs) is extremely positive."

IDENTITY CARD

Italian football is in a period of reorganisation, with Serie A due to split from the second tier next year in a bid to regain ground after slipping behind the Premier League and Spain's La Liga in terms of prestige.

Lippi also voiced scepticism about government plans to make fans obtain a supporters identity card to be able to see their team play away from home. The scheme is part of efforts to combat hooliganism in Italian football.

"On first impression, this instrument does not convince me," Lippi said. "I think of supporters who go for a meal on Saturday night and want to see the match the next day in Milan or Turin but cannot because they don't have the card.

"I don't like any form of labelling, least of all regarding fans."

The government believes the initiative, which will come into force in January, will make it easier to police matches and track down troublemakers.

Supporters from all over the country plan to stage a protest against the introduction of the cards in Rome on September 5.