It’s corruption all over again in Italian football, and by now, everyone should be used to it. It wasn’t too long ago that match-fixing scandals rocked the league and lead to the relegation of Juventus to the second division. It seems old habits die hard.
Italian football is quickly earning the title as the most corrupt game. Yesterday, former star World Cup striker Beppe Signori was among 16 people arrested after investigators busted a match-fixing operation that was so organized and so rampant that it was described by police as a criminal organization.
It’s as messy as one can imagine, with claims that players deliberately flunked matches for cash, while others were hopped up on drugs to ensure that they played badly. In addition to the 16 arrested yesterday, another 12 people are under investigation in connection with the suspected match-fixing scandal.
Serie A’s eighth top scorer of all time, Signori has been placed under house arrest and it is believed that he played a major role in the match-fixing scandal. Atalanta’s Cristiano Doni and former Sampdoria defender Stefano Bettarini, both former national team members for Italy, are also under investigation.
Prosecutors said they had “important and irrefutable” evidence that the 16 were involved in manipulating results in 18 mostly Serie B and lower league matches this past season. In light of these allegations, Atalanta and Siena’s promotion to the top flight will likely be in danger.
Signori told the Ansa news agency, “Have some mercy. I can’t say anything. I will meet my lawyer and then he’ll speak for me.”
Signori better have a damn good lawyer!