And the curse is recurring. From the 1982 world.cup football championships, to those of 2006 until the finals of the Championships of Juventus this year. It’s a terrible constant that sees every success or triumph of Italian football, overshadowed by a sudden wave of scandals. Shaking the soccer-ball this time, the umpteenth episode of football betting; the protagonists, this time, clubs and members of Pro League and Serie D, with strong suspects on Serie B. This time, lurking behind the ‘rigged matches’ is supposed to be the hand of the criminal gang, the ‘ ndragheta. Everything seems to be revolving around Pietro Iannazzo, considered a leading member of the gang, who was taken into custody last Thursday by the police. A member of the so-called ‘élite mafia of entrepreneurs”, known as the “boss” of the family, committed to doing big business but also capable of triggering bloody wars against other ‘ ndrina’ (clans) to take control over the territory. From tapped telephone conversations which see Iannone involved, investigators have come to know of the rigged matches of the two Championships which are now under probe. The first findings in the survey coordinated by the Dda of Catanzaro, are not to be underestimated: 50 arrested, more than 70 under enquiry and more than 30 teams involved. Pending is accusations of criminal association aimed at sport fraud as well as exacerbation of the penalty for mafia and transnational activities. From Calabria, the operation led to investigations and inspections of dozens of clubs across Italy: Apulia, Lombardy, Campania, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Marche and Liguria. A real tsunami. The magistrates have discovered “two organised criminal groups, distinguished for engineering sport frauds by rigging amateur football championships as well as professional tournaments.”
An organisation, continued the investigating substitute Elio Romano, “fueled by money that comes from ‘ the ‘lords of the football-pool betting i.e. people who still have no identity and who live in Asia (Kazakhstan), in the East of Europe (Serbia and Slovenia) and in Russia and that, in any case, in Italy have their ‘longa manus’ in the criminal gang. Through the mediation of sport leaders and ‘adventurers’ in search of easy profits, foreign lenders feeding the coffers of criminal organisations surveyed, by providing money to the criminals ‘ locally ‘, who in turn use it primarily to ‘ bribe ‘ footballers to have games rigged to obtain significant earnings, always without the alea of betting (excepting for cases where by some cunning of some wicked soccer-god, sees the rigged matches fall through, with all the consequences of the case, which then gives rise to further criminal violent acts, this time-evidenced by indicted on extortion and kidnapping for ransom) “. The investigation “Dirty Soccer” (“Dirty Football”), th magistrates have written again, has permitted to bring to light “the rot in soccer matches Amateur League and Pro League, which is the most viscerally linked to ‘ Italian province”.
But on this day for the soccer-god there i salso manipulation in the betting– To have got the justice moving, and specifically the Antitrust Authority, were also tv rights, the richest football loot. The competition authority and the market is testing whether the assignment for the period 2015-2018 “divider” agreements between Sky and Mediaset are involvedand if there has been “an agreement restrictive of competition”. The hypothesis of an infringement, “favoured by the same League and Infront (super consulting company that moves the economic financial wires most loved sport Ed)”, was made “on the basis of some news that appeared in February 2015”. In particular, certain words pronounced by Lazio’s President, Claudio Lotito, were supposed to have fallen under target “I, know what budgets are all about, I mean, I am the one that made Lega A take 1.2 billion, by simply getting Murdoch and Berlusconi talk to each other.”
To ensure the various hypotheses, Antitrust officials are engaged in a series of inspections in the offices of the clubs, assisted by the military of the Special Protection Unit of the Guardia di Finanza Markets. “In particular-the Antitrust has explained-at the end of the procedure for the allocation of television rights, Sky would transmit the matches of Serie A on satellite and digital terrestrial platforms contained in the ‘ A ‘ and ‘ B ‘Packages ‘, while Mediaset–which had submitted the highest bid for the package-they’re up the remaining games on all platforms. After the tender, however, the final result, different assignments for individuals ‘ packages ‘ where they inserted television rights: the satellite package (A) has been awarded to Sky, the digital terrestrial package (B) has been awarded to Rti, while D package has been awarded to Rti and then transferred to Sky “. The subject of Antitrust investigations, the note explains, “is the possible existence of an agreement that restricts competition, in violation of art. 101, paragraph 1, of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union, aimed eventually at ‘ influencing and altering the outcome of the allocation process and to exclude potential new-comers, so as to affect intra-community trade. The proceedings should be complete by April 30, 2016 “.
Traslation by Marina Stronati