Monday, July 10, 2006

When Does Glory Based Upon Cheating Mean That An Amnesty Is Appropriate?

I heard this morning a call to offer an amnesty to the four teams in Italy's Serie A that were allegedly involved in match-fixing over recent years if Italy won the World Cup. I'm quite incredulous that anyone has called for an amnesty.

My review of the situation. Four Italian clubs influence the selection of referees and assistants to make games they are most interested in go more smoothly. The big clubs do well and are happy with the situation. Trophies, medallions, fame, money etc for all involved. That's cheating.

Somebody notices and brings it to the attention of those who wish to clean up the game. The clubs are charged. Thirteen of the Italian World Cup squad play for the four clubs in question. The suggestion is made that if the Italians win the Cup then it should all be forgotten.

Utter disbelief follows. From me at least. What on earth does the result of the World Cup have to do with cheating in the highest Italian League? If an amnesty was granted wouldn't that further institutionalise cheating in Italy and in football in general? Doesn't that say to all involved and watching that it's ok to cheat as long as you win? That sort of attitude needs to be stamped out of sport for good.

Well, Italy now hold the World Cup. It should be an interesting couple of days following the verdict, whatever it may be. Will the tribunal legalise and institutionalise cheating in Italy, or not?

Having sat through the Australia vs Italy match my mind is already made up. The Italians would gratefully accept an amnesty as eagerly as they accept a penalty they don't deserve. Cheating bastards.

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