Italy coach Marcello Lippi has hit back at government criticism over his selections.

The announced decision to call up Brazilian Amauri for the Azzurri once his passport application is completed in March has caused controversy.

"I do not understand Lippi's choices," slammed Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa on Dahlia Sport.

"He won't call Antonio Cassano for the World Cup, but that is a decision that wreaks of vengeance.

"Amauri has nothing Italian, yet he will be called and Thiago Motta and Mauro Zarate won't. More than Oriundi, it seems to me that Lippi likes Juventini."

In response, Lippi said: "Is it normal for a Defence Minister to say these things? The truth is in Italy everything is normal nowadays…"