Italian FA president backs Napoli coach Sarri for Italian job

Football Soccer - Napoli news conference - Champions League - Napoli's training center, Naples, Italy - 6/3/17 Napoli's coach Maurizio Sarri attends a news conference. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

(Reuters) - Napoli's highly rated coach Maurizio Sarri has been backed by Italian FA president Carlo Tavecchio to become boss of Italy's national team - but not yet.

"Life gives everyone opportunities and I hope that Sarri will get this chance, as well," Tavecchio said on Wednesday.

But he told reporters in Rome: "Right now we are very busy with making it to the next round and qualifying for the World Cup. I have never thought of alternatives to (Giampiero) Ventura."

Sarri, 58, took over at Napoli in the summer of 2015 and extended his contract last year until 2020.

He has steered his home-city team to third in Serie A, four points behind AS Roma in the second Champions League spot, despite the departure of Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus last summer, having led them to second place last season.

Ventura, who took charge of the national side from current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte after last summer's European Championships, is halfway through a two-year contract, with the team currently second in Group G of the World Cup qualifiers.

(Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdynia,; Editing by Neville Dalton)

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