Italy scandal bad for football, says Del Bosque
BERN, Switzerland, May 29, 2012 (AFP) - Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque on Tuesday blasted the betting scandal which has engulfed Italian football as bad for the game.
"I don't at all like what is currently happening in Italy," Del Bosque said at a press conference here where his team are preparing for their second Euro 2012 warm-up match on Wednesday against South Korea.
"It's an extremely bad time for football, but there is a parallel business in this sport that is difficult to control," he continued.
"I'm not going to be drawn into the debate over whether this is favourable for us or not," continued the Spain coach whose world and European champion side are in the same group as Italy in Euro 2012 along with the Republic of Ireland and Croatia.
"All that I know is that the Italian players are professionals and will go onto the pitch with the intention of beating us."
Lazio captain Stefano Mauri and several top players were arrested on Monday, while national team defender Domenico Criscito's room was searched at Italy's Euro 2012 training camp, as part of a probe into illegal betting.
Mauri was one of 19 people implicated in the investigation into alleged match-fixing in the domestic game, as police swooped in dawn raids on a number of addresses up and down the country.
The players are suspected of having received money to fix matches for betting syndicates, whose head is believed to be based in Singapore.
Del Bosque added that this year's European tournament was very open as seen when France, considered as being among the favourites, were forced to battle back to beat Iceland 3-2 in a friendly on Sunday.
"I saw the France-Iceland game. It's proof that this Euro isn't a walk in the park for anyone. France for example had to suffer to win. The teams are obviouslly well balanced."