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Pelle sent packing from Italy soccer team

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Striker Graziano Pelle has been thrown out of the Italy squad after refusing a touchline handshake from head coach Gian Piero Ventura.

The former Southampton EPL player was substituted after 59 minutes of the World Cup qualifier against Spain on Thursday night, with Italy trailing 1-0 at the time.

Ventura reached out his hand to Pelle who ignored the gesture and walked straight past the Azzurri boss.

His apparent petulance has proven costly, with Pelle dismissed from the Italy camp on Friday morning and told to return to his club, Chinese side Shandong Luneng.

The 31-year-old's departure was announced in a statement from the Italian football federation (FIGC).

It read: "Azzurri head coach Gian Piero Ventura, with the full support of the FIGC, has decided to drop Graziano Pelle from the Italy squad for the match against FYR Macedonia in Skopje on Sunday 9th October due to the player's disrespectful behaviour when he was substituted during yesterday's match against Spain.

"Representing the Italy national team involves sharing values and exhibiting attitudes befitting the status of the Azzurri shirt.

"This begins with a player's dealings with the staff, his teammates and the supporters. The player will return to his club today."

Italy came from behind to draw 1-1, with Daniele De Rossi converting a late penalty.

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