Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWhat are Edinson Cavani's options now Napoli are involved in another scandal? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough What are Edinson Cavani's options now Napoli are involved in another scandal? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

What are Edinson Cavani’s options now Napoli are involved in another scandal?

Last month, Italian football was involved in yet another match fixing scandal. The Calciopoli of 2006 all but set the precedent for investigation by the authorities and since then, high profile trio Giuseppe Signori, Cristiano Doni and Antonio Conte, amongst others, have all been punished in one way or another.

Now it appears as though Serie A outfit Napoli are to feel the full wrath of the law. The Partenopei are now expected to face heavy sanctions from the Italian football federation (FIGC) as a result. It is another scandal that is tarnishing the game, with many hopeful that they had seen the back of the problems after Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina were implicated six years ago.

However, it emerged in late October that former Napoli goalkeeper, and now free agent, Matteo Gianello had been accused of attempting to fix the outcome between a 2010 Serie A encounter with Sampdoria, while current captain Paolo Cannavaro and teammate Gianluca Grava are both accused of failing to report the incident.

With the club’s name and image both being dragged through the mud, it is likely to affect Napoli both on and off the pitch. While their performances haven’t suffered, with the club currently third in Serie A, two and six points behind Inter Milan and Juventus respectively, it is undoubtedly going to be a matter of time before they begin to experience a downturn in form.

The problems, however, may not begin to full arise until the findings of the investigation are made public. In the aftermath of the Calciopoli, Juventus were stripped of the title they had won that season, demoted to Serie B and docked 30 points, later reduced to nine upon appeal.

Yet, the relegation to Italy’s second tier saw a number of the Old Lady’s prized assets depart the club, with the likes of Fabio Cannavaro, Lillian Thuram and Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the mass exodus from their then home; the Stadio delle Alpi.

There is the underlying fear around the Stadio San Paolo that a comparative scenario may occur. Naturally, the two star players currently plying their trade with Napoli at present remain Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik.

While losing the latter wouldn’t be ideal, the former being sold would have a more detrimental effect on the club. Uruguayan Cavani is the man responsible for spearheading the Napoli attack, while his work off the ball is often massively overlooked and, at times, underrated.

Without him in the squad, the Serie A outfit are a shadow of their self, his six goals, almost half of Napoli’s this season in the league, a testament to this. Losing Cavani would indeed be a huge loss to the club.

With any luck, the FIGC will focus on the guilty parties rather than Napoli itself. However, as the scandal involves the club, chances are, if found guilty, the sanctions are like to affect the Serie A outfit rather than just Gianello, Cannavaro and Grava.

If they suffer a similar punishment to that of Juventus in 2006, a likely point deduction and a possible demotion, the club’s big name stars, most notably Cavani and Hamsik amongst others, are unlikely to hang around for long given the perilous position the club could find themselves in.

With a number of Europe’s heavyweights already keeping a watchful eye over the 25-year-old, any blip that could see Cavani available is likely to be pounced upon. It would more than likely spell the temporary end of Napoli as a dominant force in Italian football, especially with the Uruguayan vital to the plans of head coach Walter Mazzarri. 

They would be, understandably, altered should Cavani leave, but it would be an inevitability should Napoli suffer a similar fate to that of Serie A rivals Juventus six years ago.