Last year it was famous for the Calciopoli scandal: different teams were found cheating trying to arrange matches by putting “pressure” on referees.
What is interesting about this is not the cheating part which happens in many countries and many sports (yes even in your!) but the italian relation with rules.
Somehow Italy is a country where the line between legal and illegal is very thin and blurred; a country where who is convicted guilty suddenly finds himself on the opposite side.
Why am I writing this? Because a few days ago:
“the Japan Sumo Association took the surprising step of suspending Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu from the next two grand sumo tournaments in September and November. This was to punish the yokozuna for playing in a soccer charity event in his home country after opting to sit out the summer regional tour starting Friday so he could be treated for waist and elbow injuries. ” ( from Asahi.com)
Sumo is a very interesting sport for many reasons: even if they weight a lot, sumo players do not look like a normal fat person of the same weight. They are agile, quick, elastic, there is an harmony in their bodies. Second: to be a sumo player one needs to be physically strong, technically skilled and behave in a proper way. Consider that a Yokozuna (the highest level a sumo player can reach) can be forced to retire because of misbehaviours.
Yes, sumo still values its ethical dimension.
Imagine this is football: giving the final score after taking into consideration the behaviors of each team. Interesting, ne?