A normal scandal

Italian soccer is embroiled in a match-fixing scandal involving the country’s top clubs and many top officials. The trial has failed to make an impression on Greeks, who have grown accustomed to charges against local teams and officials. The taped conversations of referee appointments actually made most of us laugh. The minor legal amendments that followed failed to bring any substantial progress. Hence we are not moved by the Italian scandal. It’s not the scandal which is the problem here, but the failure to shake off the scandal. The difference is that in Italy the trial is already on. The prosecutor recommended that champions Juventus be relegated to the third division. He also proposed that the Italian giants have six points deducted at the start of the next season and that the last two Italian league titles won by Juventus be stripped from the club. As for AC Milan, one of the most successful Italian clubs, the prosecutor told the tribunal that it should be dispatched to Italy’s second division and have three points deducted. Fiorentina and Lazio should also be relegated to the second division while top soccer officials should pay hefty penalties, the prosecutor said. The recommendations strike a chord here because we are used to thinking that everything is permitted. The workings of big shots who pull the strings of Greek soccer is now considered standard fare. We watch in apathy as people try to take over clubs despite lacking the necessary capital. We think it’s normal for big shots to get involved in soccer because we know that even if they loose out, they will still gain in political and social power. These people will continue to make up Greece’s soccer circus unless pure financial criteria are imposed.