In Italy, where one man was just handed a hefty fine for the “crime” of blasphemy, two international soccer stars have been given one-game suspensions for the same thing.
Francesco Magnanelli, the captain of the Serie A (top-tier) team Sassuolo, and Matteo Scozzarella of the Serie A team Parma were punished after closer examination of their recent games. Both men apparently took the Lord’s name in vain while on the field… so it’s possible that, in a moment of frustration, the men uttered, “God damn it.” And now they’ve been banned for a match.
I guess they’re playing by ancient rules over there.
CNN notes that it’s hardly the first time something like this has happened:
In August 2018, Rolando Mandragora was banned for one-game in August 2018 after taking God’s name in vain while playing for Udinese against Sampdoria.
Last season, Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was suspended after making blasphemous remarks during his side’s game with SPAL.
These people were suspended for something that didn’t affect the game, didn’t hurt anybody, and would’ve gone otherwise unnoticed. That’s how ridiculous these faith-based punishments are. The blasphemy ban in Italian soccer has been in place since 2010.
Just for the sake of comparison, another Italian player was recently banned for three matches for shoving a referee. How blasphemy comes anywhere close to that is beyond me.