Italian politician 'jokes' about fixing Slovakia match

Carter Daly

The Italian national team were fantastically eliminated of the World Cup on Thursday, losing a thrilling match 3-2 to Slovakia and relegating themselves to a near future of embarrassing newspaper headlines and a showering of rotten tomatoes.

The pure shame is palpable. The Azzurri supporters knew their team needed a result if they wanted to salvage any inkling of positive feelings from this tournament. They would have done anything to win this match. Anything. Which is why avid national team fan and Lega Norda politician Umberto Bossi suggested that Italy should just "buy" their game with Slovakia. Oopsies. Football Italia reports:

The Lega Nord politician caused controversy yesterday when he said the Azzurri would “buy” their must-win match by several Serie A sides signing Slovakian players for next season.

The Federation was furious and released a statement noting he had “crossed the line with offensive and distasteful comments.”

I can't say I'm surprised that a whack-job who rolls with a political party trying to split Italy between North and South would say something along these lines. You'd think everyone in Italy would know never to joke about anything having to do with match-fixing ever again after the shame of the 2006 Calciopoli scandal, where Italian police uncovered a stunning network of relations between many of the country's top clubs and the referee organizations in order to set-up favorable results of domestic league matches.

But apparently this guy has a funny bone that not many people can relate to. After feeling the lashes of the Italian federation, Bossi offered up his best Michael Scott style apology to let us all know that he doesn't really think he did anything wrong at all.

“I apologise to the Nazionale,” said the Minister for Reform. “It was a joke while I was with my own people.

“It’s remarkable the trouble that it caused. Now I will be more careful when making jokes, or even not make them at all, seeing the problems that can be stirred up.

“In any case, I apologise to the Nazionale. I expect the Azzurri will win the World Cup and wish them all the best.

This guy thought Italy were going to win the World Cup even before today? Now I know he's psychotic.

“I will say that I now know not to make fun of the Italy squad during a World Cup campaign. It’s like insulting the saints.”

At least he learned his lesson. Although I'm sure at least a few people are thinking that may have been the best option at this point.

Photo: Getty Images

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