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Soccer: Italian Olympic fencer invites Prandelli to Naples

Diego occhiuzzi draws attention to anti-organized-crime effort

07 September, 18:18
Soccer: Italian Olympic fencer invites Prandelli to Naples (ANSA) - Sofia, September 7 - Italian Olympic fencer Diego Occhiuzzi invited Italy's national soccer team coach Cesare Prandelli to take his team to visit Quarto, in the province of Naples, where a local club may become a symbol of an anti-organized-crime initiative.

Coach Prandelli was treated as a hero after taking the Italy soccer team to the European Cup finals this summer, despite losing to Spain 4-0. "When we receive the invitation, we will try to squeeze it in among our commitments," Prandelli told RaiSport on Friday.

Prandelli spoke from Sofia, where Italy is playing Bulgaria Friday night. Occhiuzzi - a silver medalist in fencing at the London 2012 Olympics - spoke Thursday on the television program Il Mattino of the difficulty practicing sports in his home turf in Naples due to organized crime. He cited the fencing school of Cercola and the Quarto team - both in the Naples area - as leading a fight against social decay caused by the organized crime group the Camorra.

Occhiuzzi praised the Italy soccer team's visit to Rizziconi, a town in the southern Italian region of Calabria, which is notorious for the organized crime group 'Ndrangheta. The fencer expressed hope that Prandelli would take the team to Quarto next.

"I knew of this invitation," Prandelli said in the pre-match interview. "We are very sensitive to this topic. We want to give a positive message to young people. And when we went to Rizziconi, we saw that there were a lot of young people".