Monza (Italy), Jun 27 (IANS/AKI): Italy's early elimination from the soccer World Cup in South Africa will cost the country 140 million euros due to loss of earning from restaurants, sports merchandise vendors and other businesses.
According to a report prepared by the Chamber of Commerce for the northern city of Monza, Italy's advance to the final would have meant 67 million euros in extra sales for restaurants, coffee bars and pubs, while towns and cities might have taken in 70 million euros to rent out parks and other public places to set up television screens.
The team's loss also means that fewer Italians will purchase merchandise or spend money on visits to the gym or sports fields at one of the 27,000 businesses in Italy that cater to tennis, basketball, as well as the national passion football.
The Azzurri Thursday crashed out of the World Cup with a shocking 2-3 defeat against Slovakia.
Italy's coach Marcello Lippi announced after the match in the South African city of Johannesburg that he would take a break from football for several months.
Italy's streets were packed with partying soccer fans four years ago when the team beat France and became the world champion.
This time players returning from South Africa faced the anger of the fans screaming "shame" at airports in Rome and Milan.