Marco Luzzani/Getty Images Sport

For the first time since 1958, a World Cup will be played without Italy as a participant after Giampiero Ventura’s were held to a 0-0 draw at the San Siro.

Sweden, protecting a 1-0 lead from the first lef, defended heroically and despite some questionable refereeing decisions, they managed to hold on.

Both sides will feel like they should have had two penalties but referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz didn’t give any of them and despite Italy dominating possession, they couldn’t find a break through.

The defeat means that Gianluigi Buffon’s international career ends prematurely and that Sweden will be competing at Russia 2018.

Ventura’s position as manager will be untenable and whilst the inquest goes ahead, Italians will need to prepare for a summer where they won’t see their side playing at the World Cup.

Read more from Ste Hoare