Last week I wrote about the Calciopoli scandal and Inter’s apparent involvement. I noted that I wanted to do some more research on the subject, so that’s exactly what I’ve done. I can’t say that I dislike the Nerazzurri without knowing all the facts so further reading was definitely needed.
It’s safe to say Inter benefited from Calciopoli in a big way. Their biggest rivals were neutralised, all but ensuring their domestic dominance. The lack of competition meant they became Italy’s premiere football club by default and it’s only recently that Milan and Juventus have showed signs of recovering.
This alone isn’t enough of a reason to dislike Inter. The threads linking them to Calciopoli and the arrogance they’ve shown in its aftermath, however, most certainly are. Christian Vieri’s allegations and Massimo Morrati’s involvement with Telecom Italia (documented in my previous entry) are too strong to ignore, and I’m inclined to believe that this whole thing isn’t just a coincidence.
I’m no conspiracy theorist, but it doesn’t look good for Inter. The Nerazzurri’s involvement in the scandal was revealed last year with the not-so-shocking revelation that Inter had also contacted the referee designators, but they cannot be prosecuted as this took place more than two years ago. Italian law, eh? Gotta love it.
Had Inter’s involvement been revealed at the same time as their rivals then they would certainly have been punished. They might have not been dealt with as severely as Juventus, but the would’ve (and should’ve) felt the implications of their underhand actions.
Why didn’t this happen? Guido Rossi. A close friend or Moratti, Rossi headed TIM (a branch of Telecom Italia), the company that revealed the wiretappings and leaked the implication conversations, in 2006. Rossi was there when it all went down. There’s no way he wouldn’t have known about Moratti and Giacinto Facchetti’s conversations with the designators.
Paolo Bergamo, the chief referee designator, has openly revealed that nobody contacted him more than Facchetti during this period but his words were swept under the rug. Rossi knowingly ignored the Nerazzurri wiretaps that we now know existed, and it’s a sham that he hasn’t yet been prosecuted.
Where did these wiretaps come from? Two police officers with pending charges for interfering with wiretaps where, at the time, in-charge of handling all wiretap recordings and handing them to the prosecution. These officers were handed the intercepts by another officer, Adamo Bove, who was heading the wiretap operation and had set-up shop in a Telecom Italia building. Who was the work comissioned by? Massimo Moratti.
Bove’s secretary later revealed that instructions to disregard certain intercepts were passed onto everyone on the team, which explains why the Inter wiretaps weren’t revealed at the time. These confessions where heard in court on July 10th, 1996. Adamo Bove committed suicide 11 days later.
Moratti, when asked if he’d commissioned the wiretap operation, responded with uncertainty. “Yes I did. No, wait… maybe. I’m not sure.” This was in an interview with Corriere della Sera dated 31st August, 2006. The wiretaps were then, allegedly, illegally sold to the Gazzetta della Sport by the newspaper’s president, who also happened to be Inter’s vice president.
You do the maths.
It’s time to draw a line under this. I don’t know enough about Italian law to know if further implications could lead to Inter’s prosecution, but their comeuppance his to come. Calciopoli was Italian football’s darkest hour, and it’ll be years (maybe decades) before the league returns to its former glory. Inter must be punished for their role in what happened.