Allegations were raised about the head of referees’ involvement in a drug trafficking operation in Italy recently. As a result, Alfredo Trentalange has offered to resign from his post, which has been confirmed by media reports. He was president of AIA, the Italian referees association. He was elected as president in February of last year, 2021.
The allegations had been raised in November 2021 when 42 people were named as being involved with a drug circulation operation in Milan. Rosario D’Onofrio was among those arrested. Even then Trentalange did not step down from his presidential post. AIA stated that, after D’Onofrio was arrested Alfredo hid from them. He had also been put on house arrest for other drug offenses in the year 2020. Even then he was promoted to the president role in February 2021.
Gabriele Gravina, head of the Italian Football Federation or FIGC was infuriated by this. He made it clear that AIA would also be put under police custody if Trentalange did not resign. Alfredo, on the other hand, was insistent that he as well as AIA had been deceived by D’Onofrio. FIGC also stated that they would be holding a meeting to discuss the AIA situation.
Italy has been struggling having lost out to be in the World Cup for the second time. The first time, in 2018 they lost to a home draw match with Sweden. This year they were on a course where they had to beat Portugal in the deciding playoff. They already had success at the Euro 2020 tournament. However, as per points accumulated they lost to Switzerland who got into the qualifying round and Mancini’s group went to the playoffs. Here they lost to North Macedonia and missed out again to be part of the World Cup 2022. Many star players including Gianluigi Buffon, the captain, retired from the national team after their playoff loss.