Is there a way to stop end-of-season farces?

May 3, 2010


AS Roma are absolutely livid after Inter Milan regained the lead in Serie A with a 2-0 win at Lazio, where the home fans cheered the goals as much as the away supporters.

Lazio fans hate Roma so much that many of them wanted their own side to lose on Sunday as it meant their bitter city rivals were knocked off top spot. This was despite the fact Lazio are not clear of relegation yet.

“If I was Inter I would be ashamed of winning like that,” Roma president Rosella Sensi told reporters, despite Lazio putting up a fight in the first half.

Liverpool fans had a similar dilemma when losing to Chelsea on Sunday. Defeat meant their Champions League dreams were over but at least hated rivals Manchester United stayed behind Chelsea in the title race with one game to go.

But is there any way of stopping situations like these and haven’t they happened for decades?

In Lazio’s case, it might have made a difference if their game had been scheduled at the same time as Atalanta v Bologna because then Lazio’s Serie A fate would have been even more insecure.

As it was, relegation candidates Atalanta and Bologna drew 1-1 and Lazio had a bit more breathing space ahead of their late kick off with Inter.

The last four rounds of games in Italy used to be played at the same time but now it only happens for the last two rounds. In England it’s only the last day of the season.

Federations could fine clubs accused of not giving their all but how do you prove it? Lazio were genuinely trying to score for most of the match and coach Edy Reja was adamant they were going for the win. The players can’t stop their own fans cheering.

Leagues could offer bigger financial incentives for teams finishing as high as possible, meaning all teams play at full pelt until the end of the season. However, the leagues do not have bottomless pockets.

More radical proposals include splitting up the league late on, a little bit like they do in Scotland, so only teams with something to play for meet each other.

It’s very complicated though, and ultimately you just have to have faith in the professionalism of the players.

Any other ideas?

PHOTO: Inter Milan’s Christian Chivu (R) and Lazio’s Sergio Floccari fight for the ball during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Olympic stadium in Rome May 2, 2010. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito


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Chelsea played the game perfectly. Carlo Ancelotti has called on his Chelsea players to keep their emotions in check in order to make certain of the Premier League title. 09:01

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[...] blog Reuters dedicato al calcio si chiede invece che fare per mettere fine alle farse di fine stagione, ricordando il caso dello split scozzese, una specie [...]

Lazio deserve to drop into Serie B.

Posted by valentinv | Report as abusive

Liverpool were purely spectators after the first twenty minutes of the game, I’m not even sure if they managed a shot on target during the whole ninety minutes, Gerrard’s back pass will only add to the conspiracy. Chelsea didn’t play well but were still victorious, however, many teams have ‘rolled over’ for Manchester United over the years, so maybe things are just evened out.

Posted by walesfootball | Report as abusive

Mexico officially has thrown its support behind the United States’ bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup. 21:13

Seeing how hard Lazio player tried to win, if one still ridiculously suspects Lazio players of giving Inter an upperhand, then one should also similarly suspect Lazio player Floccari giving a hand to Roma by kicking a lame penalty against Roma which would have put them 2 nil up and all but oust Roma from the Scudetto! Ridiculous!!

Posted by eddiegoh | Report as abusive

Looks like France has a chance. France appears favored to host football’s European Championship in 2016 after UEFA published evaluations of the three bidding nations. 20:21