La Nuova Quarto Calcio: The 'Mafia mascot' football team that kicked out the Camorra wins promotion

Club used for influence and money laundering by Mob celebrates after prosecutors took control

Italian superstars Juventus might be celebrating after clinching the Serie A title, but lowly La Nuova Quarto Calcio football club, near Naples, were just as thrilled this weekend after winning promotion – only two years after the club was sequestered from their Mafia owners.

Until February 2011, Quarto was run by Camorra kingpin Giuseppe Polverino, whose domination of the country’s hashish trade was proverbial. The club was a mascot for the mobsters – and a means of meeting and working illicitly with “respectable” society.

Following 39 arrests, local anti-Mafia prosecutors sequestered the team, just north of Naples, and installed a judicial official to run things, helped by the anti-racket association SOS Impresa.

Camorra expert Corrado de Rosa, whose latest book Mafia Da Legare (Mad Mobsters) is in the best-seller lists, said ownership of the local football team, added considerably to the mobsters’ social status and influence, in football-mad Italy. “In addition to possessing a powerful means of money laundering, being owners of a football team meant credibility and being respected; it also meant being able to influence votes in elections,” he said.

“Football was part of the logic of power,” the deputy Mafia prosecutor Ardituro Antonello told Corriere della Sera. After coordinating the investigation, Mr Antonello even stepped up to become the team’s honorary president. Fires, theft and vandalism have followed the seizure of the club by the authorities. Mr De Rosa said it was telling that during recent break-ins at the club, the only trophies stolen or destroyed were those won since magistrates seized control of the squad from the mob.

But those now running Quarto say they are determined to continue. Lino Busà, the national president of SOS Impresa, hailed the team’s promotion to the “Excellenza” league following the weekend’s 4-0 victory over Villa Literno. “A club owned by and run for the Camorra has been turned on to the path of legality, which is good for the local community – and in keeping with spirit of sport,” he said.

Luigi Cuomo, the club’s new director, told Corriere TV, that winning the championship “was a demonstration of how you can win by playing within the confines of the law and in line with sportsmanship, unlike a lot else that happens in football”.

The Polverino clan has suffered other setbacks since losing control of the football club. Its 54-year-old boss Giuseppe Polverino was finally arrested in Spain a year ago. The mobster had a reputation for being an old-school boss – eschewing trade in class-A drug cocaine. Despite this, his clan has been linked to scores of killings – including eight acid bath murders.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower