Premier League

Italy Say They Will Quit Euros If Asked

In indication of how much the latest match fixing and gambling scandals are impacted his team preparations for the Euros, Italian national boss Cesare Prandelli says that the Azzurri would quit Euro 2012 if they were asked to do so for the good of the game,

“If they tell us that it is in the best interest of football for Italy to not go to the European Championship then that won’t be a problem,” Prandelli told Rai Sport.

“It would not be a problem for me. There are things which I deem to be more important.

“I don’t like crusades, I like to face things head on and not take a particular stance without thinking of the consequences.

“I would like to just talk about football, but what is happening right now is forcing us to do otherwise.

“We continue to maintain that the players involved in the investigation will not be a part of the squad for the European Championship.”

Neither European governing body UEFA nor the Italian soccer federation have suggested Italy pull out of the tournament but Prandelli is preparing himself nevertheless.

“There are more important things,” Prandelli added.

The italian squad has been hit with almost daily barrage of negative news since the police raided their training camp on Monday. As a result of that raid, Prandelli decidd not to select Zenit St Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito for the Euros after the player received official notification that he is under investigation in Italy’s widening match-fixing scandal.

Leonardo Bonucci, whose name appears in prosecutor documents, was included in the squad as he has not yet received been given any official notice.

As if that was not bad enough, the squad has been rocked by the news that Italian captain and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has been interrogated by Turin tax police for his alleged involvement in illegal gambling. According to various reports in Italy, Buffon is reported to have bet over 1.5 million euros between January and September 2010 via a betting agency in a Parma tobacconist’s shop.