Minister urges austerity for footballers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Minister urges austerity for footballers

08/06/2010 06:46:04 AM Comments (0)

As Italy scrambles to stave off a debt crisis and reassure financial markets, a minister has stirred controversy by urging "sacrifices" from the country's beloved national football team.

"If everybody makes sacrifices, the cuts will be smaller and easier to bear for everyone," said Roberto Calderoli, minister for legislative simplification.

"Football should also do its share," he said in remarks quoted by the daily Corriere della Sera on Monday.

Italy's Azzurri (Blues), the defending champions as the World Cup tournament kicks off in South Africa on Friday, will each receive a bonus of 250,000 euros ($A363,000) if they retain the title, 130,000 euros ($A189,000) for reaching the final or 60,000 ($A87,000) for a semi-final appearance.

Giancarlo Abete, the head of Italy's football federation, rejected the comments, noting that the bonuses come from world football governing body FIFA and have nothing to do with the state budget.

Calderoli's suggestion to reduce the bonuses met with howls of protest from Azzurri captain Fabio Cannavaro, who fumed: "We live in a ridiculous country."

"I like Calderoli a lot better as minister than as a sports commentator," added Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa, an avid football fan.

Italy's centre-right government, headed by billionaire Silvio Berlusconi - owner of football giants AC Milan - is struggling to put the final touches on some 25 billion euros ($A36.35 billion) of spending cuts that were approved on May 25.

Among other measures, the austerity package aimed at reducing the national deficit is expected to cut elected officials' salaries.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news