Azzurri Out

Azzurri OutAdmittedly, I'm not a very big fan of soccer. In fact, I rarely pay attention to the sport unless it's during the World Cup or big ass tournaments like the one taking place right now in Portugal. Yesterday I actually paid close attention to the results from Euro 2004 because I had heard rumours of a possible fix. If Sweden and Denmark tied at two, it wouldn't matter if the Italian team beat Bulgaria, both Sweden and Denmark would advance and Italy would be done.

I have no rooting interest in the Euro 2004, but if Italy advances or even wins a game, it means Toronto's large Italian community will take to the streets in celebration and that means traffic jams for yours truly. So, if Sweden and Denmark wanted to tie at two to boot Italy, I wasn't going to complain. Our Swedish and Danish communities are far less enthusiastic about such things.

As everyone knows by now, Italy defeated Bulgaria but was eliminated when Sweden and Denmark tied at two. Since I don't care about soccer, I was rooting for controversy and I got exactly what I wanted. Did Sweden and Denmark set this up? Ask someone of Italian descent that question today, and they'll passionately explain that the Azzuri were screwed. Historically speaking, Sweden and Denmark aren't exactly chums, but they are neighbours and every once in a while you cut a good deal with a neighbour, even if you don't particularly like them. I don't know if the fix was in, but the mere possibility has suddenly piqued my interest in Euro 2004.

Go controversy go!

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