Italy: Mafia clans 'play football tournament for drugs'

  • 1 November 2013

Rival mafia clans in Naples have been competing in a yearly football tournament, with the winner collecting drugs instead of a trophy, it's claimed.

Police informer Armando De Rosa told prosecutors that the matches had been happening every year since 2002 in the city's infamous Scampia suburb, without the authorities noticing, Corriere del Mezzogiorno reports. The area is home turf for the Camorra, or Neapolitan mafia. Clan bosses reportedly field semi-professional footballers who had no mafia ties, in order to improve their chances of victory.

De Rosa told authorities that even fugitives managed to make regular appearances. Marco Di Lauro, the son of an imprisoned Camorra boss, apparently never missed a game, despite there being an international arrest warrant out for him. "You don't know whether to laugh or cry," Supreme Court judge Raffaele Cantone told the newspaper. "If it is true, and I stress the 'if', then it's clear that dangerous criminals gathered together more than once. How did that happen without anyone noticing? It is symptomatic of the level of territorial control, collusion and agreement of the clans."

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