Straight from the dark heart of Italy
It’s an old story of underhand dealings enabling bogus Italians from Argentina and other South America countries to gain European Union passports.Suddenly, players were finding untold numbers of ancestors from cholera-ridden, well back in the 19th century villages and getting all misty-eyed about supposed great-great papas and mammas jumping ship for a new start in the Pampas.Back at the turn of this century, it was such luminaries such as Juan Sebastian Veron, Alvaro Recoba, Nelson Dida and Marcos Cafu who were given the keys to the Serie A kingdom by gaining citizenship of the Republic.Now, as highlighted by our Argie Bargy blogger, a new generation of fake Italians are apparently flooding back across the Atlantic. Included are new Lazio signing Juan Pablo Carrizio, Napoli’s latest recruit German Denis and Catania’s summer arrival Pablo Ledesma.
Ledesma: Riding the South American wave to Italy
They have been registered as non EU-players anyway, so as far as the clubs are concerned they are all in the clear and it is none of their business if a South American player turns up with an Italian passport.Lazio are even pushing ahead with landing Augusto Matias Fernandez from River Plate and are expecting the attacking-midfielder to arrive armed with EU citizenship.The press in the old country are also giving the matter short shift but have still come up with a catchy little name for it: Passaportopoli, in honour of the mother of all scandals: Calciopoli.In the meantime, the media take on it is what has it go to do with Serie A?After all, wasn’t it the sharp eyes within the Italian consulate in Buenos Aires that brought the matter to light and aren’t some of those named off to Spain anyway?This supposed scandal comes at a time when Italian clubs can sign a second non-EU citizen where previously they were only allowed one per squad.The only proviso is that the second arrival replaces a non EU player moving abroad or who is out of contract.So, for now, while in Argentina they may be gearing up for a scandal to rock the football world, in the lazy summer months in Italy it’s causing nothing more than a ripple... well at the moment anyway.
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