Italian players vow to make a donation - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Italian players vow to make a donation

12/06/2010 08:47:46 AM Comments (0)

Italy's players have decided to donate a portion of their World Cup prize money to acknowledge the global financial crisis. As with most moves in Italy, however, the gesture comes amid political undertones.

Captain Fabio Cannavaro announced Friday that the team would donate an unspecified amount to next year's celebration honouring 150 years of Italy's unification.

Italian cabinet minister Roberto Calderoli recently challenged the team of multimillionaires to make a gesture of good will in a time of financial crisis.

The players' move - designating the contributions to a celebration of national unity - was taken by some as a pointed response to Calderoli, who is also a member of Italy's Northern League, which has long pressed the government to give greater autonomy to the country's regions. The League complains that tax money from Italy's rich north goes to the underdeveloped south.

"It's not a provocation. It was simply the right thing to do, to offer an example in times like these," said Cannavaro, who is from southern Italy's biggest city - Naples. "It's a nice initiative. The national team has always lent its image to help Italy's problems over the years. ... The national team is more about uniting than dividing."

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