On Wednesday November 14, 2012, the highest court in Italy, the Court of Cassation in Rome, convicted two Italian citizens of obscene acts in public under Italian law. The incident occurred in 2006 when the two individuals, reportedly a 40 year-old woman and 60 year-old man, were observed having sexual intercourse outdoors and were thereafter charged.

The couple’s rationale for their open-air affections hinged on a game of association football, known as soccer in America. At the time in 2006, the World Cup was being played in Germany, and, more specifically, Italy was then engaged in a quarterfinal match against the Ukraine. The couple however was in no mood for soccer, and assumed that no one would witness their lovemaking as much of Italy would be staying indoors cheering for the national team. As it happened, the two were arrested by law enforcement officers who were also outside, part of the small segment of the population not enraptured in the soccer game.

After being convicted by a regional court, the couple appealed, and the highest court in Italy agreed to review the case. Alas, the decision of the lower court was upheld, solidifying the doctrine that even a soccer game of great import does not excuse such a public display.

It should be noted that the Italy national team emerged victorious on the day in 2006. The team was propelled to a 3-0 win on the strength of goals by Gianluca Zambrotta and Luca Toni. Italy eventually won the entire tournament, surely giving many Italians something to feel good about.