“It’s a problem. A big problem,” Blatter told Italian journalists in Zurich. “Is it the worst football scandal? I think so. What’s happened is terrible and just crazy. In Italy, this sport is more important than religion, so the consequences of all this will be terrible. Their image comes out of this situation in tatters.”
Nobody has been charged with any wrongdoing yet, but the investigation into alleged match-fixing and collusion with referees at this stage involves several clubs and could see Juventus relegated in a worst case scenario.
Some people have already paid the price for the allegations, as referee Massimo De Santis was removed from the World Cup roster. “I learn from the Press that in Italy referees could be picked in a phone call. It’s absurd. The decision to suspend De Santis’ accreditation for the World Cup was well-timed, as if it hadn’t arrived before the tournament, then we would’ve taken that step without the FIGC asking us first.”
Blatter also had words of condemnation for FIGC President Franco Carraro, who has resigned from his post due to the scandal. “The Federation has its responsibilities, as it should’ve been vigilant and instead did not notice what was happening.”