More storm clouds gather over Italian football as some ugly fan behaviour and further match-fixing probes mar the on-field action.
Racism in Italian football
Yet another episode of ugly racism in Italian football. It all happened in the derby between Roma and Lazio and Brazilian Juan was the victim. He pointed to the Lazio supporters who were abusing him for the colour of his skin then to the referee who did absolutely nothing.
In theory a match could be stopped for racist behaviour by fans, but not in Italy. Lazio was only fined 10,000 euros.
Meanwhile Juan’s little boy was crying in his mother’s arms watching the way his father was treated.
Lazio supporters are not new to this kind of behaviour, not surprising given that some of their supporters belong to ultra-right groups.
Inter supporters’ short memory
Esteban Cambiasso is one of the few great bargains for Inter Milan in the last decade, signed from Real Madrid for nothing. He has spent the last eight seasons at Inter, one the most consistent players in the most non-consistent team in Italian football.
The Argentine has played 238 matches, scored 33 goals, won five Scudetti, four Italian Cups, four Italian Supercups, one Champions League and one Club World Cup.
Well, when he was substituted at the one hour mark in the match against Catania, he was booed off the field by his own 'supporters'. Once on the bench, he was so disappointed that he started crying.
Memory and gratitude are indeed in short supply at Inter.
Italian technology rejected
The International Football Association Board will examine, in July, two types of technology that could, mercifully, be applied during football matches. One is the hawk-eye, already used in tennis, the other is the so-called GoalRef.
Football authorities rejected an Italian system based on cameras placed on the terraces. They must have thought that Italians could have 'fixed' the system the way they are fixing matches.
Talking of which...
Get ready for an earthquake to hit Italian football. The inquiries on match fixing have exposed a network much wider than originally thought.
The forthcoming new chapter in this sad saga is expected to involve not only players but people in authority at some clubs. Bari, Siena, Atalanta, Bologna are only some of the clubs said to be involved.
Italy is famous worlwide for its beautiful beaches but there won’t be much sand left if they try to cover this scandal up.
Mutu over the limit
Former Fiorentina star Adrian Mutu was a notable absentee when his current club, Cesena, travelled to Florence. All sort of excuses were fed to the media, but the truth came out, anyway.
After a match with Romania's national team, Mutu was so drunk he could not board his scheduled flight, and arrived in Cesena one day later than scheduled.
Coach Mario Beretta was not amused and left him at home for the one match that Mutu really wanted to play this season.
Balotelli's expensive night out
Mario Balotelli, as you probably would know already, was seen (and photographed) exiting a strip club in the early hours of the morning, 48 hours before an important EPL match. As a consequence the club fined him around $180,000.
Too expensive, you may think, but that amount is simply his salary for ONE week.
No wonder most clubs are on the verge of bankruptcy or relying on Arab money.
Federico Macheda, the Manchester United striker now on loan at Queens Park Rangers, must be very bored nowadays. So he went on Twitter, and posted some homophobic comments, which cost him nearly $25,000.
Macheda is a former Lazio player and supporter. Last week he went to Rome and watched the local derby in Curva Nord, the bastion of the extreme right faction of Lazio supporters.
He was in good company.
Former Lazio goalkeeper Tommaso Berti, currently playing for Sporting Braga, flew especially from Spain to be at the match and joined Macheda and Lazio supporters rather than sit in the VIP stand.
Novara’s forward planning
Novara, promoted to Serie A at the end of last season, is all but relegated, now. Yet it went to the trouble of sacking coach Attilio Tesser and replacing him with Emiliano Mondonico six weeks ago.
Now it has sacked Mondonico and re-instated Tesser.
Adding to the drama is the fact that Mondonico had just beaten a severe form of cancer.
He should at the very least have been left in peace at home to continue in his recovery but not according to Novara officials.
Somebody has got to do it, so I am on my way to London to watch Chelsea host Napoli in the Champions League.
After Arsenal’s amazing performance against AC Milan, anything is possible.
Especially considering the way the Blues reacted to Andreas Villas-Boas's sacking.
Who will decide qualification: Napoli’s shaky defence or the Italian side's strike force of Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani?
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