Italian football is no stranger to match fixing scandals, so it was no surprise this week when police arrested fourteen players in dawn raids in relation to soccer fraud, bringing the arrest tally to over fifty in the past year. Lazio captain Stefano Mauri was among the latest arrests, and although there is no immediate assumption of guilt, Zenit St. Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito has lost his place in Cesare Prandelli's Euro 2012 squad.
It's a sad state of affairs, and the FIFA corruption hotline is probably ringing off the hook, but Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has come up with a practical solution to the match-fixing epidemic: stop playing football. That's right, just stop the game for a few years until everyone decides they can play without deliberately cheating for money. Fox Soccer reports:
Monti said Tuesday he thinks it would be a good idea if Italian soccer was stopped for ''two to three years'' although he adds that ''it is not a proposal by the government but a question I am asking.''
Of course, for commercial and common sense reasons, Monti's suggestion could never come to pass — it's the equivalent of closing a school because some bullies are stealing lunch money. Clearly the Italian PM — who took over when AC Milan owner and controversy magnet Silvio Berlusconi resigned — isn't really a sports guy. Or a guy who likes fun.