Italy could skip the European soccer championship for the good of the game amid a probe into alleged match fixing in the nation’s soccer leagues, Coach Cesare Prandelli suggested in an interview on Rai Sport television.
“If they said that the national team mustn’t go to the European championship for the good of soccer, it wouldn’t be a problem,” Rai Sport cited Prandelli as saying in Zurich today. “I’m against crusades,” he said, adding that he’d rather “speak only of soccer, though what is happening forces me to do otherwise.”
His comments came after prosecutors in Cremona announced on May 28 the arrest of Lazio’s team captain as part of a match-fixing probe for which both Juventus coach Antonio Conte and Italian national-team defender Domenico Criscito were being investigated. Criscito was later dropped from Italy’s team for the European championships, which begin in Poland and Ukraine next week. Italy meets Spain on June 10 in its first match.
Prime Minister Mario Monti said this week that he sometimes wished Italy’s soccer league were banned for a few years over repeated cases of corruption, match fixing and fan violence. He said his comments weren’t an actual government proposal.