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Truth in football is dead. The internet killed it.

Well, perhaps maybe not dead. But “truth” as it was once known is seemingly disappearing. It should be a rather simple, black-and-white concept: X is true, therefore Y isn’t. Circumstances can change but what is simply is, simply should be.

However, this week in football saw quite a few challenges to such a rigid definition. Take, for example, the case of Erik Lamela. The Argentine is hotly sought at in the transfer market given the relegation of River Plate, his current club. Roma were rumored to be chasing the player practically since Walter Sabatini was brought into the side as Sporting Director. Yet, depending on which report is read, Lamela is already a Roma player, on the verge of becoming one, about to be poached by Milan, or out of the running entirely.

Reports earlier this week suggested that Roma was on the brink of signing him. Suddenly other sites popped up with rumors that Sabatini ruled Roma out of the running for the player, Then Sky reported it was a done deal. RomaGialloRossa said it was 80% done. River Plate President Daniel Passarella was going to fly to Roma to finish the deal. Then he wasn’t.

In essence, the transfer rumor became a boggart. Every time someone looked at it, it appeared in a totally different form, with the truth buried somewhere underneath all the hubbub. RomaGialloRossa.com published 16 articles with “Lamela” in the headline on July seventh alone.

Of course, none of the above reports above can possibly coexist. If one is true, the others simply cannot be. Yet all were published within 24 hours on major calcio sites, and all four were quickly disseminated as “fact”. In reality, the only fact that is for certain is that Roma have yet to sign Erik Lamela, given the lack of an official press release from the club. The capital side are likely interested in the player, given all the last minute rumors, but as of Thursday night, nothing is official.

At least Roma are looking towards the future. Inter and Juventus are caught battling out the past in a five year old case where ‘truth’ is looking more and more like a lofty ideal, more akin to world peace than an empirical, provable notion. Calciopoli II: The Return of Calciopoli continues to be waged as new developments unravel in the case which look to threaten Inter’s 2006 Scudetto. Giacinto Facchetti’s reputation is being post-humously dismantled, proving that neither the dead nor the living can possibly escape the grasp of two sides that hate each other so much, sadly not even the deceased can rest in peace.

Instead, Inter now look guilty as well of committing fraud, which has caused immense reaction from the calcio world. Is this really bringing closure to the case or ripping the scab off a healing wound? Would relegating Inter do anything to bring justice to the league if, as Luciano Moggi himself holds up, everyone is guilty or nobody is? The truth may lie in those words of the once great Juventus man: the entire case is a fuzzy shade of grey where nearly every club may be involved at some level.

Truth at all levels seems to be under attack, and the use of the internet only seems to have clouded the issue further. False quotes can be spread to millions within a few minutes on Twitter with the click of a button. Luckily, in the cases of player signings, there is one simple way to prevent headaches: wait for the club to announce signings. Clubs usually do that. They like to promote the fact that they have new players, at the very least to generate interest in potential shirt sales. And they might even have a legal obligation to do so. As for hot topics such as Calciopoli, the truth may never be really known. Of course, ask an Interista or a Juventino and they’ll tell you the truth, undeniably. The two sides might not add up, of course, but such has become of what once was a coherent notion.

Julian De Martinis

Calcio, Azzurri, and Roma tifosi. Blogger, correspondent, podcast host (@LaMagicast). Lover of books, movies, wordplay, family, and a good cappuccino.

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  • Elaine

    Yeah, could I get a source on this truth thing, please? In all seriousness, it is an issue that has gotten worse exponentially with not just the internet, but Twitter, Facebook, etc. One rumor can make it around the world in seconds. So I think the news organizations themselves have a hard time fact checking and rush things because they all want to be the first to break the news. Vicious cycle.

  • Ron

    Why do these two teams hate each other
    so much. It is only sport. sport is for
    fun.

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