High-profile cases of corruption, ticket touting and match fixing have led Italians to lose faith in the beautiful game, writes criminologist Anna Sergi.
Football could be considered Italy’s most popular sport, with world-class teams worth billions attracting a dedicated following across the country. But more than that, football shapes the nation’s collective identity, bringing people from the smallest village to the biggest city together in their love for “the beautiful game”.
But over the past decade, media investigations and research have uncovered an unseemly lack of virtue within the industry. Mafia infiltration and corruption have come to characterise Italian football to the point that malpractice, deviance and criminal behaviour might seem to be the norm. Continue reading