Prandelli backs Chiellini despite Juventus ban

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has hinted Giorgio Chiellini will be in his FIFA World Cup squad, despite picking up a ban for violent conduct.

Juventus defender Chiellini was slapped with a retrospective three-match ban after elbowing Miralem Pjanic in Sunday's 1-0 win over Roma.

The suspension rules the defender out of Juve's remaining Serie A fixture against Cagliari on Sunday - as well as their first two of next season.

The punishment raised doubts over the 29-year-old's involvement in Brazil, with Prandelli having previously dropped the likes of Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli from his international squads due to disciplinary issues at club level.

However, the former Fiorentina boss does not believe Chiellini's actions were undertaken with violent intentions - suggesting the Juve man will remain in his World Cup plans.

Prandelli told Ansa: "I have looked again and again at what Chiellini did. For me, it is not a violent act."

Italy's 30-man provisional squad for Brazil will be named on Tuesday and Prandelli dismissed the notion of any criticism over possibly reneging on his previous standing affecting him.

He added: "Do I expect criticism for my decision? My code of ethics has been controversial for four years!"


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