Inter to be stripped of Euro Cup? Italy enters the world of a huge new football scandal

By Walter Broeckx

Last summer Inter Milan bought the Argentine striker Diego Milito and the Brazilian midfielder Thiago Motta from Genua. Both had a great season with Inter that won the league, the cup and off course the champions league. Both players played a major role if we only look at the final of the Champions League when Milito scored both goals for Inter.

So very good signings. Or not?

Maybe not, because at the weekend the Italian Football Association (FIGC)   announced that there was something wrong with both transfers.

According to Paolo Cordi, the spokesman of the FIGC, both contracts are not valid.  Now the problem is not with Inter but with the selling club Genua. Because the contract for the sale was signed by Genua president Prezisio but he was not entitled to sign those documents.  I don’t know if this is the same thing in other countries but in Italy to sign those documents you must have some kind of license and Genua president Prezisio did not have the required licenses.

Now I think in most countries when a contract needs to be signed by three people and one of those people that has signed the contract and was not entitled to sign it, then the contract expires. It is as if it never existed. That’s how things go in the real world but of course it is always possible to ask, is football living in the real world?

So in the next weeks Genua president Prezisio and Inter president Moratti must come to a special Sports Court in Rome. In the worst case, if this Sports Sourt should confirm that the contracts are not valid and have never existed then we are in for some very interesting times.

Because in that case the result would be that the transfer was not realised on paper but the players Milito and Motta did play for Inter Milan in the past season.

Now if a team puts players on the field that are not member of the team, even if it is only for one second in a game then the normal ruling is that this team loses that game. It is the same like when you put a player on that is not allowed to play because he was suspended for that game because of too many yellow cards or a red card. In England there is a similar rule with the FA Cup – if a player has played for one team in the Cup earlier in the season he is not eligible to play for another team.  If he does, the second team he plays for forfeits the match.

So this would mean that the Italian football association has to declare that Inter loses all the games in which Militto or Motta have played. I don’t know  for sure but I think this would have as a result that Inter would still stay on top of the league, but only if you hold it upside down. So this would mean that they finish in 20th place and would be forced to go down. They would lose the title and Roma would get the title. In that case it looks that most titles in the last decade in Italy are being won off the field.

But if you think that is bad news, lose the title AND go down to the second league in Italy it doesn’t end with that. They would also lose the cup and this would also go to the Roma who lost the final against because in that game  both those players have played.

But if and when the Italian Football Association declare the contracts not valid this also will have its repercussions in European football.  For here one thing follows another.  Putting a player on the field who cannot play in the Italian league means also that they also shouldn’t have played in Europe.

But they did and Bayern knows this very well as it was Militto who scored both goals against them in the final. So if the Italian Sports Court rules that the contract never existed this would mean that Uefa cannot but declare that Inter loses every game one of the two players played in and this would mean that Bayern Munich would win the champions league.

So it is a possibility that Inter instead of winning the treble they could win or better said lose the quadruple. Finish last in the league, go down, lose the cup and lose the champions league.

Will it come that far? Who knows? We are talking about Italy and as we have seen in the last decade in Italy anything is possible in football.

But the question can be asked if it would be fair to punish Inter for a mistake or an error made by another team, Genua in this case. I think we can understand that if you agree terms with a club and the President of that clubs signs the deal that he would be entitled to sign the deal. So we could say that Inter was an innocent party in the deal. You could say that maybe they should have checked at that time but if even the president of a football club cannot be trusted, who can be trusted then?

It will be interesting to see how this goes. Will the law be followed to the letter or not? The judge holds the future of one of the biggest clubs in Italy in his hands. We don’t want that football is decided in court but can football not follow the normal rules in society?

And if Arsenal ever buy a player in Italy, I hope the board is careful  with who signs at the dotted line.


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17 Replies to “Inter to be stripped of Euro Cup? Italy enters the world of a huge new football scandal”

  1. I think that Inter would be well within their rights to sue Genoa off the planet for gross professional negligence and misconduct. Not to mention the Italian FA.

    I think it is absolutely the case that all the blame for this would reside with the selling club and it would be seriously pointless to blame Inter for this.

    The players signed documents in good faith, the buying club did likewise and no doubt they handed on a lot of money for doing so.

    I am sure that such documents would be lodged with the Italian FA and it might be considered the domain of such a national body to ensure that registrations were in order prior to the start of the season, rather than playing a season out and then start saying that hanky panky had taken place and relegating a club who had acted in good faith and done nothing wrong.

    This article lacks focus and is a puerile attempt to destroy Inter Milan.

    I wouldn’t want you adjudicating any decision of any importance in my life if this article represents your true opinions, Walter.

    I repeat: puerile, without balance and utterly ignoring intent, guilt and responsibility.

  2. this is a rather speculative article to say the least. you can tell it’s the off season. in addition your idea of just handing the cups to the other teams to have reached the final is totally unfair and ridiculous. what about all the other matches that inter won along the way that were also “invalid”? would barca be happy to see the trophy just handed to bayern without being given a crack at beating them. i am no fan of barca but that would just not be fair. have read some good stuff written by you but this one does not seem to have been that well thought through. but i suppose its better than recycling rubbish about players arsenal are not going to buy.

  3. i want to see this go through. it would be absoulueky hilarious to see inter lose everything. lol. heehee!!!!!!!

  4. The article doesn’t in anyway discredit Inter or their achievements but does raise a few interesting questions based in the factual situation that Inter find themselves in through no fault of their own.
    Personally hope that the Italian FA would realise that the buck stops with them and hold up Inter’s results based upon the principle of natural justice. Platini is unlikely to entertain or give momentum to a technicality that will discredit the entire CL last year which had some great matches and crowned the best team in the end as Inter were.
    That being said one would hope that Bayern exhibit the class that they have in spades when commenting on this as they will no doubt be asked to. More importantly One would hope that Barcelona dont sink lower than they already have this season and contest the semi result that eliminated them.
    They have Platini’s ear and less class than a crumpled pack of own brand cornflakes that has been sitting in a pool of milk for 2 days.

  5. Given the severity of the crime, I think they should be nuked from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  6. Walter, Inter deserved their trophies. It’ll be a shame if Inter are stripped of the trophies they won fairly because of the fault of Genoa’s president.
    Let’s hope football does live in the real world and Inter’s players and trophies are left alone.

  7. I think I have mentioned in my article the fact that I think it would be harsh to punish Inter for something that they are not responsible for and I have said that the fault was by the selling club.

    I only have made an attempt to let you see that there could be a very big problem and that there can be heavy consequences if someone signs a contract without being entitled to.

    I only wanted to let you see what could happen if the court would rule that only the letter of the law should be followed.

    And don’t forget we are talking about Italy. A country where, to put it gently, sometimes the ruling of several courts have been rather strange and in favour of the president. And also don’t forget that the prime minister of Italy also happens to be the president of the fiercest rival of Inter Milan.

  8. Nick, if I gave the impression that it is my desire to see the trophees taken away from Inter I gave the wrong impression. Like I said in the article and in the comment section. Read this again please: “But the question can be asked if it would be fair to punish Inter for a mistake or an error made by another team”.

    I just tried to give a review on what the rules say when you put a player on the field that was not allowed on the field. Whatever the reason may be. Be it suspension or be it because the player is not a member of the team. I just wanted to point out the possible effects of this.

    In fact titles have been taken away from teams before in Italy and like I said: don’t forget the Italian prime minister who might see this as a (golden) opportunity to get rid of his biggest rival. Nothing would surprise me.

  9. That last point about Berlusconi……..interesting!!
    Can’t wait to see how this whole issue pans out…..

  10. Were these the only transfers in which Genoa was involved? Did they sell others players to other clubs or sign players from other clubs? Is it only this year that the Genoa president has signed the contracts or is it only this year that he is ineligible?

    This could be a lot more complex than just Inter and the consequences for them, which in a way might help them!

    Anyway, a much more interesting story to follow than the transfer rumors. Thanks Walter.

  11. I think it is inters fault if you buy a new car tomorrow do you check the log book to make sure its for your car or just blindly walk off and if somethings wrong blame the dealer.

    The punishment is whats wrong in this case no way should the penalty be so heafty its a simple clerical error.

    Maybe we should check back see who played who in the cups we might actualy win something.

  12. Walter is quite within his rights to speculate that if the contracts are null and void then the Inter played with ineligible players and ergo results achieved with these players are also null and void. I am not a lawyer but a major part of my job is to verify that agreements and contracts are properly executed. If the contracts are void my employer stands to lose a shedload of money. long before we go to court. Is the world of football any different?

  13. Wow that’s genuinely amazing! I dunno how the he’ll you find out all these things as they mostly get mentioned very little elsewhere.

    One thing is for sure though. If this is true inter won’t be punished (in a way which is significant). I just can’t see them taking such strong actions even if legally they are supposed to. You can probably expect a small fine or at worst a few points deducted for next season.

    It would be great if they got punished properly though

  14. Walter – Can you please get my email from Tony and send me an email that I can reply to? I would like to forward smth to you regarding recent elections in Belgium and would like to have your opinion on things.

    Thanks! 🙂

  15. Rhys, whats your problem? Sure disagree with the article if you wish, but dont make it into a personal attack – this isnt the first time you’ve had a go at Walter.
    On behalf of all sensible and intelligent readers walter, thanks for your article, I always enjoy reading your insights (regardless of whether I agree with them or not)!

    And yes, I agree that it’d be incredibly harsh to strip inter of their titles due to Genoa’s “error” – and I bet Berlusconi is licking his lips at getting stuck into them, but surely no court in the world (not at even crazy-ass corrupt FIFA) would say that they should lose their titles. As a welshman I’m still bitter about the fact that Russia fielded an ineligible player against us in the euro 2004 player and didnt get the result overturned – so on precedent I dont imagine it’ll happen this time!

  16. The thing about Italy is there is such a recent history of corruption involving top football clubs and officials that you cannot take a piece of information like this at face value and think thats all there is to it. It is amazing how Inter benefitted from the 2006 scandal- clubs rigging games by selecting favourable referees-Inter were subject to serious investigation but no charges were laid- does not mean nothing happened- only they weren’t caught.

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