Lunedì, 24 Settembre 2018

Soccer: Italian football must reform to stop slide, say Juve


Turin, October 26 - Italian soccer needs major
reforms if Serie A is to halt the decline it is currently
experiencing, Juventus Chairman Andrea Agnelli said on Friday.
Italian teams were the strongest in European competition in
the late 1980s and 1990s but, apart from Inter Milan's Champions
League victory in 2010, they have struggled in continental
action in recent years.
Indeed, this year only three Italian teams were admitted
into the Champions League, rather than four in previous years,
after Serie A was overtaken by Germany's Bundesliga in the
rankings of European soccer's governing body UEFA.
Italian soccer has been hit by hooliganism and two big
match-fixing scandals over the past six years, the second of
which is still developing.
Many of the country's soccer stadiums, most of which are
owned by local authorities rather than the clubs' themselves,
are in a poor state due to lack of investment.
"Today, Italian football finds itself at a crossroads,"
Agnelli told a meeting of the Serie A champions' shareholders.
"After the great successes of the last 30 years, today
we're seeing a rapid decline which shows no sign of abating.
"Its development model is impeded by several factors which
perfectly reflect the crisis the country is currently
"I have no doubt over which will be the most popular
Italian football club in 20 years. Juventus will still have
millions of fans and there will still be black and white scarves
in football stadiums.
"But which stadiums? We all need to ask ourselves what
Italian football will have become in a few years' time.
"Many countries have experienced a footballing decline but
none have had such a rapid descent.
"We are faced with a structural collapse which cannot
simply be put down to the economic crisis.
"Club presidents, the media and followers of football in
general ask if we support X or Y candidate to run the Serie A
League or the Italian Soccer Federation.
"However, no one is asking how these important positions
should be carried out".
Juve, who spent a year in Serie B and were stripped of two
Italian league titles for involvement in the 2006 Calciopoli
match-fixing scandal, became the first Serie A club to have
their own ground when they opened their new stadium in Turin
last year.

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