• Euro 2012

Prandelli: Comparisons with 2006 a 'cliche'

ESPN staff
May 30, 2012
Leonardo Bonucci has been questioned in relation to the Scommessopoli match-fixing investigation © PA Photos

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has downplayed comparisons between the Scommessopoli probe ahead of Euro 2012 and previous match-fixing scandals that have arisen in the build-up to major tournaments.

Italy's preparations for the 2006 World Cup in Germany were infamously disrupted by the Calciopoli corruption investigation as Marcello Lippi nonetheless led the country to a fourth title, while their 1982 World Cup win followed the Totonero probe of 1980, the first of its kind in Italian football.

Domenico Criscito was dropped from Italy's squad for the European Championship earlier this week after police conducted a raid at the Azzurri's training base, and Leonardo Bonucci is also under investigation for an alleged role in match-fixing during the 2009-10 Serie A season.

Prandelli is hopeful that his squad will not be distracted by recent events, dismissing the notion that developing a siege mentality might play into Italy's hands.

"The comparisons to 2006 seem like a cliche to me. The situation's different now," Prandelli said.

"They always say that Italy become more united in difficult situations, and I hope that is the case now, too. However, I don't believe in the theory that we can only perform under pressure.

"We should be giving our best in a calm atmposphere as well. The important thing now is to show the people that we are determined to clean up football."

Italy open their Euro 2012 campaign against defending champions Spain on June 10, with Croatia and the Republic of Ireland also in their group in Poland and Ukraine.

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