As the scavenging for funds from every possible resource carries on, Italian Football will play its Supercoppa Italiana match between the Serie A champions, Juventus, and the Coppa Italia winners, Napoli, in December, in the middle of the season, at the small venue of the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
This isn’t the first time the Italian Super Cup has been played abroad. It’s actually turned into something of a tradition. In 1993, preparing for the 1994 World Cup, Milan played Torino at the RFK in Washington DC in front of 25,000 fans. Not a huge success. Nine years later, Juventus and Parma played in front of 40,000 fans in Libya, when Italy had its controversial connection with the Gaddafi regime going on.
A year later Juventus and Milan, a few short months after playing for the Champions League title, met at Giants Stadium in New Jersey in front of 54,000 fans. In 2009 Inter and Lazio clashed in Beijing, which hosted the Super Cup match in 2011 and 2012, bringing 155,000 fans to the last two matches. After 57,000 watches Juventus thrash Lazio in the Olimpico last season, it’s back to the highway again, this time to Qatar.
A regime funding terror in the Middle East is trying to whitewash its sins away by hosting as many sporting events as possible. Why in December? Every Supercup match is played before the season begins, in August or September. That’s right. It’s impossible to play football in Qatar during the summer. Italian teams are starving for funds in order to start competing a bit more impressively against their European counterparts, so making the match even more meaningless than it usually is by travelling to Doha and playing four months past its due date isn’t really something they feel too worried about.