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Italian football on the nose again

It's nothing new but it's amazing how these things get swept under the carpet because "it's the Italian way". Peter Webb pointed out on his blog today, the Chievo vs Catania result was known before the match began. The majority of bookmakers took the match off the board, and those who did keep it up, had the draw odds-on which is ridiculous. The 1-1 draw traded as low as evens pre-match on Betfair, when it should usually trade around 7.

The Italian culture is that friends should always help each other, and that there's no point in one party beating the other when they have nothing to gain from it. That's admirable with your mates, but it has no place in professional sport. If the sporting authorities had any balls at all, they would come down on it like a house of bricks. We're talking about a first-world country with a third-world set of ethics. Take a look at the two teams. Chievo were almost certainly clear of relegation, Catania could do with a few more points to make themselves safe as well. So the most convenient result for both teams was to play out a draw, which as the betting showed, was never in doubt. Expect these shenanigans to continue throughout Italian football all the way through to the end of the season.

And FIFA & UEFA think betting is the source of all corruption. This one had nothing to do with betting. But it's much easier for self-righteous bureaucrats to blame it all on betting so they can wipe this sort of garbage under the carpet....

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