Di Canio hits out at Italian betting scandal

02 August 2011 12:30

Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio has hit out at football back in his homeland following the betting scandal that erupted this summer.

The former West Ham and Sheffield Wednesday player has returned to his adopted home to carve out a career in management.

And he criticised the system in Italy which has been troubled by yet another scandal, just five years on from the infamous Calciopoli match-fixing saga.

"I signed (with Swindon) just when the whole betting scandal was exploding," the former Lazio and AC Milan star told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"These episodes are the result of an erroneous system. In the third tier there are people with fake contracts and players paid under the table.

"There are players who ask for a loan on their house but then find themselves without a salary.

"Betting is just a result of this. It's morally appalling but if you've got to feed your family, you don't have a choice.

"The players pay the penalty while the organisations stay where they are."

Di Canio also hit out at Italian teams' lack of faith in youth, pointing to Alessandro Del Piero (36) and Francesco Totti (34) still playing important roles for Juventus and Roma respectively.

"If Roma and Juve are still relying on Totti and Del Piero then you can understand why Italian football is in crisis," he added.

"One's 34 and the other's 36 but on the pitch you need players who run."

Di Canio's former club Lazio didn't escape his wrath either.

"Lazio could never compete with the big guns, (new signings Miroslav) Klose is 33 and (Djibril) Cisse scored a lot of goals, but in Greece."

And the outspoken Italian had some harsh advice for troubled Manchester City and Italy forward Mario Balotelli.

"He's always at war with the world. Someone like him should be laughing at life but instead he seems to want to destroy his good fortune."

Source: AFP