No social networks for Azzuri after Balotelli's embarrassing tweet
15 October 2013, 15:23
Rome - Coach Cesare Prandelli said that social networks will be banned for Italian national team players after the distraction caused by a recent tweet from star striker Mario Balotelli.
"We are studying the abolition of social networks for the players," Prandelli told the public channel RaiSport on Tuesday.
"We will see whether to apply the norm immediately, but for sure it will be effective at the World Cup camp."
Italy qualified for the Brazil-hosted finals two games before the end of the qualification phase. They are to play a final match Tuesday against Armenia in Naples.
Prandelli's decision came after Balotelli tweeted his disinterest for a newspaper's suggestion that he could be considered an anti-Mafia symbol.
La Gazzetta dello Sport portrayed the AC Milan player as a possible model as the Azzurri on Monday trained on the pitch of a team that was confiscated from a criminal organization.
"This is what you say! I come because football is beautiful and all must play it where they like, and then there is (Italy's) game (Tuesday)," Balotelli tweeted.
"He often goes looking for trouble," Prandelli said about his often unruly player, adding that constant scrutiny from the media has not helped Balotelli.
Criticism of Balotelli's tweet peaked when Rosaria Capacchione, a parliament member and journalist who lives under escort for her defiance of the Naples-based Camorra, called the footballer "an imbecile."
"Mario will never change, we must get this into our minds," Prandelli said. "But his peculiarity can give us some incredible moments from a football point of view."