Lazio almost bought by the mob

The Italian police unfortunately stopped Italian football club Lazio from gaining the owners they deserve. Current Lazio club president Giorgio Chinaglia has been the run from Italian cops in the U.S. since 2006 for some financial shenanigans. Now the Casalesi clan in the Camorra (an organized crime group, basically Naples' version of Sicily's Cosa Nostra) tried to buy Lazio with laundered money.

Lazio fans are typically fascist. This actually is not an exaggeration: Der Spiegel has a picture of Lazio fans standing en masse holding a sign that reads "Auchwitz is your home, the ovens your houses"; they also had a sign rhyming the club Livorno's name with "forno", the Italian name for oven (Livorno is a Leftist/Communist club and the city had a lot of Jews before WW2), their most popular player was known for giving the Hitler salute to the fans; they wave pictures of Bennito Mussolini in the stands; Lazio fans honored Arkan, the Serb guilty of war crimes in Bosnia (and a friend to Sinisa Mihailovic, a Serb who plays for Lazio); I could go on but you get the idea.

It would be true irony if this club was stuck with the Camorra as owners. Unfortunately I am not an expert in Italian organized crime but Wikipedia says that the Camorra owns the rights for trash disposal in Naples - you might have heard about the trash piling up in Naples recently.

Money in the soccer world is extremely liquid (like in the recent Carlos Tevez deal) and the sums are very large (bigger than the local pizza parlor), which I guess makes it attractive to rich criminals. My guess is that given the exceptional liquidity of money in football (another word might be corruption), owning a football club would be a great part of a money laundering chain for a large organized criminal organization with a lot of cash to clean.

I leave you with a picture of true Lazio fans:

screw lazio

Too bad these guys didn't get screwed.

Break radio silence

Brief updates:

My fiance and I are now married.

We went on a honeymoon to Alaska:
We got a kitten and named her Oomi, short for Oomingmak, the Eskimo word for Musk Ox, of which we saw some in Alaska. Oomingmak means "bearded one" - Oomi has some white fur where a beard might be. Check out her attack the blinds at the bottom of the post.

I am now back at work, but going to this conference next week.

Lots of stuff happening over in Mali and Niger re: the Tuareg rebellion, but no time to write on it. Al Jazeera has got a reporter in there and put out a few stories on it. Still ignored by the American press. On request I put up some stuff over at, including a copy of my thesis (available as a pdf here) if you would like to read it.

Another blogger that just broke radio silence is Pat - go read his post about his idea of creating a money stream to politicians that can be turned off when they do bad stuff, like Obama voting for amnesty for telecom companies that broke the law. It would be easy to implement and effective at showing politicians that people actually care about issues that the media ignores.

I will get back to blogging once I figure out where to fit it in my schedule.

Now for Oomi!