A Guardian article regarding Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck has caused a lot of furor in Naples. Check out the image (excerpt) below which underlines the main cause of this Napoli outrage.
Below the excerpt, is the official Napoli letter to Guardian sports editor Ian Prior regarding the Welbeck rumour and the Mafia quote with a cheeky Geordie Shore reference.
Dear Mr Prior,
I write to you to ask to publish the following message about an article which appeared on the website of such a prestigious newspaper as the Guardian:
“Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon has let Welbeck’s agent know that Napoli are interested in signing up his client, but with Everton and Tottenham also interested, the club from one of Italy’s mafia strongholds will need to make Manchester United and Welbeck himself an offer they can’t refuse.“
I am aware that it can happen that an article is not read carefully before being published. It is possible that as the editor of the Guardian’s sports pages you may not have realised what was written. If not, we would be dismayed to read such a dated, dumb, vulgar cliche as this, linking the city of Naples to the mafia.
This is an archaic impression that is also rejected by English tourists who every year choose Italy – and Napoli – as their holiday destination. They would not do that if they thought that Naples is Italy’s mafia stronghold, a place where people fire at or rob each other in the street. We would not judge a city like Newcastle on the basis of MTV’s Geordie Shore; we do not think all of that city’s inhabitants are rude, gym-addicted and sociopathic. It is a shame to see the Guardian did not afford Napoli the same courtesy.
I would still prefer to think that you had not read the article, and in this case, I would ask for a correction, in the name of both Neapolitans and Italians.