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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another Soccer Scandal in Italy

This time the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Monti, is offering his two cents' worth of commentary.

Which is that Italy should take a moratorium on soccer for several years to clear the air. 

Several years ago, referees were involved, and this time, it's the players.  Look, there is organized crime all over the world and people who want to fix matches in all sorts of ways.  Tennis matches, soccer matches, and, who knows, some of the World Cup officiating in South Africa was fishy enough to cast some suspicion over the integrity of the officials (sadly, some hail from the lesser-developed countries where the average incomes are pretty low and might have been more susceptible to taking a bribe).

Players and teams throughout Italy are implicated in this scandal.  And while A.C. Milan, Internazionale Milan, Juventus and AS Roma, among others, can field good teams, it stands to reason that the reason that Serie A in Italy does not get the attention of the English Premiership is either because a) it's not as good a league as the Premiership or b) the serious international soccer media does not believe in the overall integrity of the matches (when compared to say, other countries, such as England).

Popular demand and ecomonic reality (that is, soccer provides thousands of jobs in Italy) are such that it is unlikely that the Italian government can stop soccer or would want to.  But popular demand also should be such that teams outside the four I just named might have a shot to win the title in Series A.  Would that be too much to ask?  And would it be too much to ask that any team might be able to do so without money being exchanged in unmarked bills or unnamed bank accounts in banking havens? 

Yet another mess -- atop the economy -- in Italy.


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