“Blessed, damned and made-up dreams”: hits the mark in Stefano Tamburini’s new book

©Getty Images

"Blessed, damned and made-up dreams" the new book by Stefano Tamburini

There are indeed a variety of protagonists in "Blessed, Damned and Rigged Dreams" the new book by Stefano Tamburini, journalist, already editor of Corriere Romagna, Agl, the Cityà of Salerno and Il Tirreno.   The very interesting volume, published by Edizioni Il Foglio, highlights how increasingly often great sport is reduced to a battering ram to open chasms in what little remains of the antibodies of social and human justice that modern civilization struggles to defend and cultivate. And it is precisely the most joyous enterprises that serve as a smokescreen for the horrors of dirty business and persecution. Sport thus risks becoming a dam that instead of protecting us contributes to sheltering hidden pitfalls, which need not overflow to overwhelm us.

There are also stories that go beyond the significance of triumph, such as that of boxer Irma Testa, the first Italian to participate in an Olympics in the ring and then able to bring home a medal. She, who grew up in a complicated social context and fell in love with a’other woman, manages to make it clear that there is no normalcy’from which to stand out. And her lessons outside the ring è far more important than what she can give on the technical level to her opponents. Lessons that are also found in other chapters, including in the “collective” that opens the book, dedicated to four great boxers of another era, one of whom – Emile Griffith – homosexual. He the most important fight has to face it precisely in the face of discrimination. The chapter also talks about Nino Benvenuti, Sandro Mazzinghi and Carlos Monzon. The other stories of the “blessed” are dedicated to Muhammad Ali, Gaetano Scirea, Pietro Mennea, Gigi Riva, Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Roland Ratzenberger, Gilles Villeneuve, Siniša Mihajlović, and Fabio Casartelli. Then there are the collective stories of the National Football Teams of 1970, 1982 and 2006, Grande Torino and the ’Aquila Rugby capable of winning the most impossible of shields. The stories of the “damned” concern instead Oscar Pistorius, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, James Hunt, Sepp Blatter, Bernie Ecclestone, Claudio Lotito. And here, too, are the collective stories of the ’Heysel massacre that marked the end of football’s innocence, the State-ultr&agrave negotiations (with Genny ’a carogna), and the collective story of three pilots brothers of dreams grappling with the death of one of their own. Finally, the stories of the “rigged dreams”, unraveling from the Great Squandering of the World Cup in Italia ’90, with an extra chapter devoted to the 24 forgotten victims at stadium and infrastructure construction sites. Then the salvific no to the Rome Olympics, the 2017 Antimafia report with the perverse links between sports and organized crime. Finally more chapters devoted to the devastating entanglement between big sport, especially soccer and Formula One, with the rogue countries in terms of human and civil rights enclosed between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Closing with the emblematic story of the most rigged Formula One Grand Prix in history, the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, which offers the devastating image of the perpetrators of the scandal capable of exhibiting themselves in embarrassing and truncated catwalks on the track that sound like a slap in the face for the aggrieved and for those who watch sports (and not only that) with the eye of honesty and fairness.

The work boasts a preface by Federico Cafiero de Raho, former National Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor, now vice-president of the Anti-Mafia Parliamentary Commission, who highlights “the author’s skillful journalistic investigative work, which is useful in illuminating knowledge. It is highlighted how sports is not only a social phenomenon but an economic sector. The’enormous attention created by the most important sporting events, which turn out to be true global events, together with the popularity of national and continental competitions of the most followed disciplines, such as soccer, have contributed to the growth on the financial level of business connected with the world of sports. In the’activity that I have carried out as National Anti-Mafia Prosecutor, è a growing interest of the mafias in infiltrating sports” has emerged.

This book è the’ideal continuation of the first volume written by Tamburini and published last damage entitled “The Price to Pay” (stories of rebellious women and men, when sport becomes a struggle for human and civil rights), a semifinalist at the Bancarella Sport 2023 award and recipient of the “Books for Peace” 2023 award.



You may also like...