Thursday, June 12, 2014

Any team but Italy

Italian diving team
It is that time again.

Yes it’s the World Cup. The football festival that is awarded every four years to the country which pays the most money to FIFA.

I think the World Cup is about as important as the Olympics or Wimbledon. Who cares?

It determines who plays well over a period of days or weeks, gets a few breaks - gets lucky – cheats best - and at the end of the day is the Champion du Monde - based on a month of football in four years.

In the Olympics some strange things can happen. Less so in football. There are only – say - eight teams out for the 32 that could get to the final.

I am of course rooting for Australia and the USA.

But.......I don’t really care much who wins – as long as it is not Italy.

I hate the Italian Football Team – the Azzuri - (and so does Lenny)

I hate them because they cheat – a lot.

In the 2006 World Cup Australia nearly made it to the Quarter Finals and in the game against Italy held them to a draw. A draw would have got them through.

In the last minute of play an Italian player took a dive to get a penalty - which was awarded - and Italy won the game.

The Italian Cheating Diving Team then won the World Cup.

At that stage we were living in Leichardt in Sydney - which is Sydney’s ‘Little Italy’ and where the shops and restaurants and lots of people are Italian - and where you can walk down the streets and hear both old and young people talking in Italian.

We were watching the games on a big screen in the main street and the crowd went wild. WILD! for Italy!

It was shocking to realize that your neighbors would feck you over to win a game of football - but it is THAT important to them.

But now I understand that Italians will always be Italian football fans no matter how long ago they left their homeland. And they will always want their team to win - and it doesn’t matter how.

My research since then has shown that the Italians are probably the worst cheats in world football – this has been substantiated by academic studies - but that their fans expect them to cheat - because winning is the ONLY thing that counts.

The statistics from that World Cup show that they were awarded the most number of fouls (i.e. they dived more than anyone else).

Indeed – the former Premier of NSW – Morris Iemma – himself of Italian origins - said that after that particular game he bought a book about why Italians are born to cheat at football. Yes - there are books on this subject. In fact there may be a whole library.

As punishment for what the Italians did to Australia in 2006 I  put a curse on the Azzurri. (I and I am really sorry I  had to do this because I know some lovely Italians).

You may think this was a case of overkill because it had a dramatic effect on so many Italian footballs fans – but I was really unhappy about what they did to Australia.

The curse involved candles, duck feathers, a cork and rubber gloves and I won’t go into too many sordid details but it absolutely guaranteed that Italy would not make it past the Quarter Finals.

In fact it was so wildly successful that Italy did not make it past the first round – and in one never to forget match – was held to a 1-1 draw by New Zealand. I put it down to the chicken gizzards.

This is like the Miami Heat being held to a draw by Peoria.

But – I have a long memory – and have put another curse on Italy for this world cup.

I am sorry – but what you did – do – is unforgivable – I will go to my grave loving Italy and Italians – but hating the Azzuri.

I have substituted northern cardinal feathers for duck feathers – but am supremely confident that my curse will work.


  1. Wow! Chamomile tea, anyone? ;-)

  2. With that 1-1 vs. New Zealand, how did Italy score?

    A penalty from a dive of course! De Rossi milked his shirt being tugged for a split second.

  3. Merisi: Or a glass of nice Italian red wine.

    nzm: Oh yes - the bastards!

  4. That would be a good title, "The Curse of The Atheist" or "la maledizione del ateo".

  5. Dammit! If only I had consulted you before I entered Kogan's free competition to pay AUD$1 million to anyone who picked every game in the lead up to the finals. I bombed out on the first game, picking Croatia against Brazil. What a dummy. We could have been rich Badger!!!

  6. Are you still drinking Chilean wine?

  7. Rubber gloves don't work, methinks! ;-)

  8. esb: An excellent suggestion. When I patens my curse I will use that.

    Sandy: Croatia against Brazil? Even one of my curses could not help you with that game.

    Merisi: The Australians played badly for the first hour. The got what they deserved.

    Merisi: Not at all. I want Italy to get to the semi-finals - so the hurt will be greater.