Following is an excerpt from a report on the Italian "Zassbollah" soccer team, which aired on Al-Manar TV on December 30, 2007:
Voice of reporter: Yes, this is the Hizbullah logo. But what is it doing on the jerseys of these players? The Italian soccer player Davide Volponi knows the answer. Volponi and his friends form a soccer team, which for 15 years has been participating in the Carioca amateur league. The team changes its name every year. In an attempt to boost the morale of his comrades, Volponi suggested naming the team "Zassbollah" this year – combining the name of the team captain, Zasso, with the word "Hizbullah." Where did this idea come from, and what is its purpose?
Davide Volponi, on the phone: The idea to name the team "Zassbollah" came from the situation in Lebanon. We chose this name not as an expression of any political position, but because we were influenced by the strong fighting spirit, and by the spirit of resistance. Therefore, this is not a political matter, because we observe things from afar, but on the field, we must put up resistance and fight the opponents.
Voice of reporter: The Zassbollah team was in need of this boost to their morale, because the rival team included international player Gianfranco Zola, who used to play on the Italian national team, and now coaches the Italian national youth team. Last Saturday at noon, at the Amiscora stadium in Sardinia, Italy – although in a different language and a different style - the Hizbullah resistance scored yet another goal into the net of those who doubt its morality, having become a source of inspiration for soccer players admired by millions throughout the world.