Italian FA president Carlo Tavecchio blamed manager Gian Piero Ventura for getting his team selection wrong as Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup.
Ventura was sacked on Wednesday, 48 hours after Italy missed a World Cup for the first time in six decades.
"It was a technical debacle," Tavecchio told Mediaset's Le Iene programme." It was a technical mistake in how the team was picked.
"I've not slept for four days. We played badly. We needed to get past them [Sweden] -- all 1.90 metres tall -- with the little men, who were on the bench. How can you not pick [Lorenzo] Insigne? I said this to [Ventura's] staff but not to him. It's not like I can intervene -- there are rules."
Tavecchio is hoping to oversee the appointment of a successor to Ventura, although there are continuing calls for him to tender his resignation when he chairs an emergency Italian FA meeting on Monday.
He had hoped to be able to present Carlo Ancelotti in time for Monday's meeting, but the long-time agent of the 58-year-old, still under contract at Bayern Munich despite being sacked last month, said he could not see him accepting.
"Ancelotti does not want to be disrespectful, but at the moment he's not interested," Giovanni Branchini told Radio Deejay.
"Carlo is not going to coach the national team. Right now, he has other objectives and other intentions."
The former AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid coach reportedly prefers a return to the Premier League next season.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said at a news conference on Saturday that he would like to coach Italy one day, but "in a few years time."
He nevertheless remains on Tavecchio's list of candidates.
"Allegri? You're warm. [Roberto] Mancini? You're getting warmer. [Antonio] Conte? You're hot," Tavecchio said when asked about his options.
"We're looking for the best we can get. They are all contracted through to June. When we get to June, we'll see who is available.
"They are all under multi-million contracts and I don't think there is anybody around willing to pay to leave their job."
Claudio Ranieri said it would be hard to turn down his country if they were to call, although he is under contract at Nantes, who are impressing in Ligue 1 but lost 4-1 to Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.
After that game, he said: "I would think about it" if Italy were to call, adding: "But I have a president [at Nantes] and they would have to speak to him first."
Picking a new coach is a decision Tavecchio -- if he is given a vote of confidence on Monday -- hopes to get right after admitting he did not get his man when he chose Ventura two years ago.
"I picked the coach, but I picked him at a time when there was only so much on offer," he said. "Conte had left us to go to Chelsea. There was Ventura, [Gianni] De Biasi, [Vincenzo] Montella on the market, and it's not like I made the choice all by myself.
"When I had a list of potential candidates, I even went to speak to the players.
"I will tell you something that I've never said before: my first choice was [Roberto] Donadoni, but unfortunately the [Bologna] president [Joey] Saputo was opposed to it."