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Nobody expects the Italian Soccer Inquisition!

Mar 9, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

Mark it down: Domenico Di Carlo becomes the first person ejected in European soccer competition for transgressing the new Serie A rule on blasphemy. Yep, the top Italian soccer division decrees that taking the Lord’s name in vain during a match, or simply (one would assume) saying “Jesus Christ!” draws that person a special papal red card. Life of Brian, anyone?

“Look, I don’t think it should be blasphemy, just say ‘Jehovha.’

“You’re only making it worse for yourself!”

It happened last week, three minutes into the second half of his game against Cagliari, when Di Carlo reportedly said “porco dio,” which according to Babelfish, translates into English as “God pig.” From The Guardian:

Domenico “Mimmo” Di Carlo could not be said to have emblazoned his name on the annals of Italian football – until, that is, last Sunday in the third minute of the second half of Chievo’s 2-1 victory over Cagliari in Serie A.

It was at this moment, according to the disciplinary watchdog of the Italian football league, that the Verona club’s coach “proffered a blasphemous expression” that was to make him the first victim of a zero-tolerance policy on irreverence.

The president, Giancarlo Abete, declared it would “intervene with official decisions to make clear that blasphemy is within the definition of ‘offensive, insulting or abusive language’ in the rules [that warrant sending-off]“.

It’s all part of an ongoing effort, I’m told, to make Italian soccer squeaky clean following the 2006 match-rigging scandal that shook the nation. Between this and that British player who got six months in jail for a violent tackle recently, pretty soon European soccer is going to look pretty much like this.
Italian coach banned for taking God’s name in vain []

  1. Eric Idle - Mar 9, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Always look on the bright side of life.