Wednesday 13 December 2017

Giovanni Trapattoni reveals shock at match-fixing scandal

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Giovanni Trapattoni cannot get his head around the 'disgraceful' match-fixing allegations that have rocked football.

The Ireland manager has fielded questions on the topic before given some of the problems suffered in his native Italy, but he was still shocked by the scale of the Europol enquiry into irregularities across Europe.

"I couldn't think about selling a game or not selling a game. For me, it's disgraceful," said Trapattoni.

"There is an Italian word – mafia. And all around the world, there is mafia. For me, football is as clear as water, you score or you don't score. My job is based on trust."

The 73-year-old did say that, during his time in Austria with Red Bull Salzburg, local media raised questions about the poor performance of his team in one particular game. But he refused to believe that any player could be capable of throwing a match.

"We were the champions and in front again, but in five minutes we conceded three goals. After, it was written in the papers that maybe the players had sold the game," he recalled.

"I thought, 'this is impossible, I know the players'. But our stopper, I thought, 'is he an idiot, on drugs or did he sell the game?' because three goals in five minutes...

"I have no proof. For me it's unbelievable. I couldn't think this.

"Never in my life have I made a bet. I thank God that football is enough for me."

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