Latest Italian match-fixing scandal met with both fury and weary resignation

May 28, 2012

“With a major international football tournament on the horizon Italy has once again been seized by a huge investigation into match-fixing. As yet it hasn’t reached the magnitude of the 2006 Calciopoli affair, which presaged Italy’s World Cup triumph, but after police raided both the quarters of the national team and the home of Antonio Conte, manager of the Italian champions, Juventus, it’s set to make as least as big a splash. The roots of the latest scandal lie in the summer of 2011. After a member of Serie B side Cremonese suffered a serious car crash, tests showed that he and other members of the team had been drugged with sleeping pills.” Guardian – James Richardson

Italy’s Euro 2012 camp hit by dawn police raid
“An Italian footballer has pulled out of Italy’s national squad just days before the European football championships after he was placed under investigation in a widening match-fixing scandal. Police officers swooped on the Italian national squad’s training camp at dawn on Monday to search the room of defender Domenico Criscito and inform him that he is under investigation.” Guardian (Video)

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The history of Ajax from 1945-2012

May 28, 2012

“It took just three weeks for Dutch football to get back up and running again following the country’s liberation from German occupation. The previous five years had been a harrowing period of time for the country, an experience that had afflicted an immeasurable amount of damage to its inhabitants. The decision to usher the return of football so soon after the conclusion of war was sagacious, as a need to get life back to some form of normality was required.” World Soccer


Euro 2012: The Runners & Riders – Denmark

May 28, 2012

“It seems inconceivable that anyone will be able to mention Denmark in relation to the European Championships without turning the clock back twenty years, to when the Danes were hastily assembled following the forced withdrawal of Yugoslavia from that summers tournament in Sweden and then went and won the entire tournament. The Danes haven’t been quite as fortunate since, but they are a team that consigned one of their group opponents in this summers tournament to a play-off place. Even though they start this tournament as the outsiders to get through the group stages, it would be foolish to merely write them off as cannon fodder for Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal.” twohundredpercent

For Denmark
“If the tournament was to be decided by experience, Denmark would win hands down. Coach Morten Olsen is preparing to lead the Danes into a major tournament for the fourth time. Few coaches in world football can compete with that record and that is a testament to the popularity of the Dane in his home land as well as the expectations placed on him that he is still seen as the man to lead the Vikings into the tournament.” In Bed With Maradona