Tag: Italy

Euro 2012: The Runners & Riders – Italy

Those that do not learn from history are destined to repeat its mistakes. Italian football has been gripped by scandal before and the events of the last couple of weeks have been the culmination of a story that has been bubbling under for some months now, but those writing Italy off on account of the distraction that the recent match-fixing allegations may bring with them should, perhaps, proceed with caution. In 1980 the Italian game was gripped by the Totonero scandal, which led to points deductions or relegation for seven clubs and bans for twenty players and two club presidents. Two years later, they won the tournament with Paolo Rossi, one of those banned two years earlier, ending the tournament as its top scorer. In 2006, the Italian game was again engulfed in crisis as the ramifications of the Calciopoli scandal became apparent. That very summer, they won the World Cup again. Italian supporters, therefore, might even be forgiven wondering whether the one positive that they can take from this dismal story is the potential omen that comes with it. The History: Italy have, considering their record in the World Cup, a surprisingly patchy record in the European Championships. Between the beginning of the tournament in 1960 and its expansion to take in sixteen nations in 1996, they only qualified for the finals of the competition on three occasions,...

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Euro Moments: Italy

This mornings cartoon for the run-up to the European Championships from Dotmund features one of Italys greatest ever players, dressed as a pantomime and holding a glass of white wine. You don’t get this sort of analysis anywhere else. Don’t forget, you can see plenty more Dotmund artwork here, and you can read his trenchant opinions on just about everything here. You can download the Twohundredpercent Euro 2012 spreadsheet here (for Excel 2007), whilst a version that will be compatible with older versions of Excel is available here. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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The Spectre Of Goalline Technology Reappears

Over the weekend, the debate over goalline technology resurfaced as Queens Park Rangers defender Clint Hill’s header against Bolton Wanderers clearly crossed the line with assistant referee Bob Pollock claiming he was unable to see due to a Bolton defender on the line blocking his view. Hot on the heels of the International Football Association Board’s (IFAB) announcement that they were committed to accepting technology, and that they would be reviewing two systems in the summer. It now seems inevitable that goalline technology will be introduced to football sooner rather than later, and many media outlets were unable to contain their glee at this development, with one sportswriter on Sky Sports Sunday Supplement claiming that it was football’s embarrassment that it had so far resisted the introduction of technology, although like the rest of the pro-technology lobby, no-one comes up with an answer to some of the logistical questions raised here two years ago. But does the media’s agenda just lie with wanting to improving the game, or is there more to it? The rolling report on the incident on Sky Sports News was revealing. As well as a plea from Sky Sports’ main analyser Gary Neville saying that technology has to come in because of the sheer number of times these incidents have decided championships and relegations, and how replays can give an instant decision on whether the...

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European Championship Stories: 1968 – A Rhapsody In Blue

In December of 1970, the Italian playwright Dario Fo released a play entitled “Morte Accidentale Di Un Anarchico” (“The Accidental Death Of An Anarchist”). Based on the aftermath of the 1969 Piazza Fontana Bombing in Milan, which killed seventeen people, it was a play that shone a light upon the subsequent death of Giuseppe Pinelli, an anarchist activist and railway worker who fell from the fourth floor window of a Milan police station under suspicious circumstances after having already been held for longer than Italian law specified was legal without being granted by a judge. Pinelli was later posthumously absolved of any responsibility for the bombing. Just over two years earlier in 1968, Fo had formed Nuova Scena, a theatre collective which, it declared, would be ‘at the service of the revolutionary forces not so as to reform the bourgeois state, but to favour the growth of a real revolutionary process which could bring the working class to power’. Although Fo was a Communist, he had been an outspoken critic of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia which ended the Prague Spring of that year but, as protests of various sorts reached a worldwide head in 1968, the protests of Fo some Western European Communist groups against this invasion fell on deaf ears – one hundred and eight Czechs and Slovaks were killed, and the reforms of First Secretary Alexander Dubček, which sought to...

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Is the award of a 3-0 win a suitable punishment?

On Friday, UEFA announced the punishments for the abandonment of the Italy-Serbia European Championship Qualifier. As expected, Serbia did not get off lightly. The Football Association of Serbia (FSS) were fined €120,000, ordered to play a home qualifier behind closed doors, with a second game behind closed doors suspended for two years, as well as having their supporters banned from travelling to the rest of their qualifiers. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) were also fined the smaller amount of €100,000, and also ordered to play a game behind closed doors, suspended for two years. While the FSS were punished because their supporters were the cause of the trouble in Genoa on the night of the game, the FIGC were punished for failing to stop the Serbian fans entering the Luigi Ferraris stadium with flares and fireworks, and for the security operation failing to stop the pitch invasion that gave Scottish referee Craig Thomson no option but to initially delay the kick-off, and ultimately abandon the match. On the face of it, both punishments seem appropriate. While it is difficult for a Football Association to prevent tickets ending up in the wrong hands, they are responsible for their fans behaviour, and the fine, and the loss of revenue from a game being played behind closed doors will certainly provide the FSS with the motivation to do all they can to...

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