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Coach: No problem if Italy skips Euro 2012

  |   June 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM
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ZURICH, Switzerland, June 1 (UPI) -- Italy soccer Coach Cesare Prandelli said Friday "it wouldn't be a problem" if his team were to withdraw from the Euro 2012 championships.

Prandelli's comment came amid Italy's latest match-fixing scandal, and some of his players have been linked to it, ANSA reported.

"If they said to us that the national team must not go to the European championships for the good of soccer, it wouldn't be a problem," Prandelli told Rai television before his team was to play Russia in Zurich in a pre-tournament game Friday.

Soccer players are forbidden to bet on games even when there's no match-fixing. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti suggested this week it might be a good idea to stop professional soccer in Italy for two or three years in view of the scandal.

Prandelli responded Friday by criticizing what he called a "crusade."

"I don't like crusades. I like discussion, not the taking up of stances without thinking about the consequences," he said.

"I'd like to talk just about soccer, but what's happening has imposed something else. As for the players, I continue to say that those involved will not go to the European championships."

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