Soccer fans in Little Italy take out full-page ad in Swedish newspaper
The FIFA World Cup gets underway next week in Russia, but for fans of the Italian national team, it's shaping up to be a long, bitter month.
The Azzurri, four-time winners of the World Cup, will miss the tournament for the first time since 1958, after losing a two-legged qualifying playoff to Sweden last November.
This week, Montreal's SDC Petite-Italie-Marché-Jean-Talon, Little Italy's business development group, took out a full-page ad in a Swedish newspaper — essentially informing its indended audience that the group's members plan to spitefully cheer for anyone but Sweden at the World Cup.
"Dear Sweden," the ad in a local Metro paper begins. "[We] are writing to remind you all that you have robbed us of the joy of singing 'Forza Azzurri' and cheering on our own. Know that all our bitterness against you will be expressed by cheering for [Sweden's group stage opponents] South Korea, Mexico and Germany...and after those matches we're sure you won't be in the race anyway."
The ad rounds off with, "Go, anybody but Sweden, Go!"
The ad drew plenty of reaction on social media, and even drew a writeup from ESPN.com, which described the ad as "hilarious".
Christina D'Arienzo, the group's director-general, hinted in an email to CJAD 800 that there may be more coming in what she calls "our feud against Sweden".