Here is an unpleasant news headline:
“Former Juventus owner responsible for hundreds of deaths. Vows to continue bloodshed”.
This sadly is true. About a decade ago Muammar al-Gaddafi purchased a minority share in the giant Italian club – representing his strong interest in Italian football.
Juventus could not have known back then how things would transpire. But Juventus did know about the dictator’s murderous role in the Lokerbie plane bombings and was perfectly aware of the fact he is ruthless dictator.Â Juventus turned a blind eye.
The Premier League is not very different:
Thaksin Shinawatra, former Prime Minister of Thailand was allowed to purchaseÂ Manchester City despite being heavily criticized by Amnesty International for human rights violation and accusations in his homeland of wide scale corruption.
Alexandre Gaydamak, former owner of Portsmouth, is the son of Arcadi Gaydamak – who himself owned Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem. One must be incredibly naive to think think that the younger Gaydamak, 30 years old at the time, acquired the club with his own means. The father’s money is tainted by a conviction in France for illegal arms trafficking during the civil war in Angola. He was convicted, in absence, to six years in prison.
Roman Abramovich, well respected Chelsea owner, emerged winner from the Russian aluminum wars en route to his incredible wealth. These wars included a series of murders of traders and journalists.
The Premier League likes to think that it is an international business attracting foreign investment. The truth is that a lot of this money is extremely suspicious. Â The Gaddafi affair demonstrates the disgrace that turning a blind eye can bring on the sport.