Republic of Ireland coach Marco Tardelli expects his current employers to face the land of his birth, Italy, at Euro 2012, despite their withdrawal claims.
Azzurri boss Cesare Prandelli claims he would back any decision by Italian authorities to pull out of the competition amid a much-publicised match-fixing investigation which has engulfed the country's domestic game.
However, Tardelli believes Italy will line up against Ireland in Group C, with the World Cup winner of the opinion that the behaviour of a minority will not be allowed to impact on the actions of an entire nation.
Tardelli, who is assistant to Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, said: "I don't think so, I don't think so. Italy is very important. They will be in Poland because it is only some players (who are allegedly involved).
"Not all of football in Italy is involved."
Prandelli, who played with Tardelli under Trapattoni at Juventus, had earlier told RaiSport: "If you told us that for the good of football we should not participate, it wouldn't be a problem for me.
"There are things that I believe are more important."
However, Tardelli is not convinced that his comments should be taken at face value.
He added: "Yes, I am surprised (he said it), but maybe sometimes Prandelli says some things to pressure the players and the people that are around the team."
Before Tardelli and Ireland turn their attention to Italy, they have a friendly date with Hungary and tough group games against Croatia and Spain to negotiate.
On their European Championship preparations, Tardelli said: "The players now are relaxed, but I think when we go to Hungary, it's possible to change some things in our mentality.
"It's a very important match for us because it's the start. Against Hungary, it will be a very, very important match because the players will start to focus very, very strongly for Poland."