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Prime Minister suggests Italian soccer suspension

  • AP, Tuesday, May 29, 2012 4:30 PM

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti suggested that Italian soccer be suspended for two to three years after the latest game-fixing scandal rocked the national team and again tarnished the sport's image in the country just a week before the European Championship.

Dawn raids on Monday resulted in 14 arrests — including Lazio captain Stefano Mauri — to bring the total number of suspects arrested in the game-fixing inquiry to about 50 since last year. Many more have been placed under investigation.

"Soccer should be stopped for two to three years," Monti said. "It is not a proposal by the government but a question I am asking as someone who was passionate when soccer was still soccer."

Italy has only recently recovered from the 2006 game-fixing scandal — known as Calciopoli — that resulted in Juventus being relegated to Serie B for a season, plus points penalties for several other Serie A teams and long bans for club and refereeing officials. Italy the World Cup that year.

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