Italy Coach Marcello Lippi criticized journalists for asking about the Northern League radio station’s support of Paraguay at a press conference following yesterday’s World Cup match.
Commentator at Radio Padania Libera, owned by Italy’s anti-immigration Northern League political party, cheered when Paraguay scored against Italy. “Here we go! Paraguay scored!” said the radio announcer Roberto Ortelli after Antolin Alcaraz gave Paraguay a 39th-minute lead in the Group F opener.
Italian journalists asked Lippi after the match, which ended 1-1, to comment on the radio station’s commentary. “I don’t care anything about this,” the coach said. “ You don’t even have to talk about this after a World Cup match.”
Italy’s Captain Fabio Cannavaro later told reporters: “Don’t make me talk about Padania.”
The Northern League is Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s biggest ally and has three ministers in the government including Interior Minister Roberto Maroni.