Italy manager Cesare Prandelli has already announced that his players will not be allowed to use social networks like Twitter and Facebook during next summer's World Cup. Prandelli announced his decision after the latest scrutiny involving Mario Balotelli and the mafia.
From the Telegraph:
"New rules will come into force, and they will be more stringent," Prandelli said. "We are looking at banning the use of social networks for players. The restriction will definitely be in force for the World Cup training camp."
The ban comes after Milan and Italy striker Mario Balotelli used his Twitter feed to take issue with a suggestion by the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper that he should see himself as a role model in the fight against the Mafia, when the Azzurri trained on Monday with a club that was stripped of its organised crime ties.
Balotelli tweeted a picture of the headline and said, "That's what you say! I'm coming because football is great and everyone should play it where they want to and then there's the match!!!!"
This prompted Italian MP and anti-mafia campaigner Rosaria Capacchione to take issue with what she saw as disregard for the issue and say, "Balotelli is an imbecile. In the best of cases he is a capricious, spoilt and full-of-money child who lives in an environment where it is difficult to tell good from evil."
Balotelli has previously been called to give evidence at a mafia trial in Naples after he was given a tour of the city by three members of the Camorra. He was also accused of jokingly taking part in a drug deal in another trial.
Sadly, this ban will keep us from living in a world where Andrea Pirlo tweets one-word descriptors of his beard before every World Cup match.