Cupie World Cup Update

Well this could be good news for our boys.  Let's hope Italy gets distracted by this horrible turn of events.  Sink the ship before it ever sets sail...

Italian soccer scandal worse than expected
Associated Press

ROME -- The newly appointed head of the Italian soccer federation says the state of the national game -- rocked by allegations of fraud, match-fixing and illegal betting -- is worse than he expected.

However, commissioner Guido Rossi said he thought the national team could avoid being dragged into the scandal and stay focused on the World Cup, which starts next week in Germany.

"I didn't expect to find such a serious situation," Rossi told the Italian news agency ANSA on Thursday. "I thought it was much more circumscribed."

Rossi, a former senator and expert in sporting law, was appointed May 16 to clean up Italian soccer after the scandal exploded.

The scandal involves allegations of match-fixing, illegal betting and manipulation of referee assignments. Prosecutors in several Italian cities are conducting separate investigations.

"I think it's possible to reconcile what's happening with the sporting aspect," said Rossi, who met with Italy coach Marcello Lippi last month to express his support of the team. "We work on different levels.'

Italy, a three-time World Cup champion, is considered one of the tournament favorites.

The scandal involves Italy's most popular club, Juventus, with its former general manager, Luciano Moggi, at the center of the allegations. Moggi, accused of influencing referee appointments, has resigned, along with the entire Juventus board. The team faces possible relegation, weeks after clinching its 29th Serie A title.

Three other Serie A teams -- AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina -- have also been implicated.

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