2006 Italian football scandal

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The 2006 Italian football scandal (Called in Italian Calciopoli[1]) involved Italy's top professional football leagues, Serie A and Serie B. The scandal was uncovered in May 2006 by Italian police, implicating league champions Juventus, and other major teams including AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, and Reggina when a number of telephone interceptions showed a thick network of relations between team managers and referee organizations. Juventus were the champions of Serie A at the time. The teams have been accused of rigging games by selecting favourable referees.

Origins[edit]

The scandal first came to light as a consequence of investigations of prosecutors on the Italian football agency GEA World. Transcripts of recorded telephone conversations published in Italian newspapers suggested that during the 2004–05 season, Juventus general managers Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo had conversations with several officials of Italian football to influence referee appointment.

The name Calciopoli (which could be translated as "Footballville") is an ironic adaptation of Tangentopoli ("Bribesville"), which is the name that was given to some corruption-based clientelism in Italy during the Mani Pulite investigation in the early 1990s.

Club punishments[edit]

On 4 July 2006, the Italian Football Federation's prosecutor, Stefano Palazzi, called for all four clubs at the centre of the match fixing scandal to be thrown out of Serie A. Palazzi called for Juventus to drop to at least Serie C1 (his statement read that Juventus should be sent "lower than Serie B," without a specific division stated) and for Fiorentina and Lazio to at least Serie B. He also asked for points penalties to be imposed (six for Juventus, three for Milan, and 15 for both Fiorentina and Lazio). The prosecutor also called for Juventus to be stripped of its 2005 and 2006 titles.[2]

In the case against Reggina on 13 August, the prosecutor called for Reggina to be demoted to Serie B with a 15-point penalty.[3] On 17 August, Reggina's punishment was handed down: a 15-point penalty, but no relegation from Serie A.[4] Furthermore, the club was fined the equivalent of £68,000, while the club president Pasquale "Lillo" Foti was fined £20,000 and banned from the game for two-and-a-half years.[5]

Italian Football Federation punishments
Team Relegation Points deductions
(2006–07 season)
Other punishments
Original punishment[4][6] Appeal result Final punishment[7] Original punishment Appeal result Final punishment Original punishment Final punishment
Milan None None None Deducted 15 points Deducted 8 points Deducted 8 points • Deducted 44 points 2005/06 season
• Out of 2006-07 UEFA Champions League[8]
• Deducted 30 points 2005/06 season
• One home game behind closed doors.
Fiorentina Relegated to Serie B None None Deducted 12 points
(Serie B)
Deducted 19 points
(Serie A)
Deducted 15 points
(Serie A)
• Out of 2006–07 UEFA Champions League[8] • Out of 2006–07 UEFA Champions League[8]
• Two home games behind closed doors
Juventus Relegated to Serie B Relegated to Serie B Relegated to Serie B Deducted 30 points Deducted 17 points Deducted 9 points • £31,000,000 (equivalent) fine
• Club president fined £200,000 (equivalent)
• Stripped of 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles
• Out of 2006–07 UEFA Champions League[8]
• Three home games behind closed doors
• Relegated to Serie B.
Lazio Relegated to Serie B None None Deducted 7 points (Serie B) Deducted 11 points (Serie A) Deducted 3 points (Serie A) • Out of 2006-07 UEFA Cup[8] • Out of 2006–07 UEFA Cup[8]
• Two home games behind closed doors
Reggina[5] (No original punishment) None None Deducted 15 points (No appeal result) Deducted 11 points (No original punishment) • £68,000 (equivalent) fine
• Club president Pasquale Foti fined £20,000 (equivalent) and banned from football for 2½ years

The sentence was long disputed because of the largely different severity of punishment between Juventus and other involved teams. According to the court the conduct of team managers, considered in all the cases not a real match-fixing but a mere violation of sport loyalty principles, seemed to have, in case of Juventus, the effect to influence match results; while in the case of other teams, the same effect was not considered so much evident. Juventus representatives considered this assumption totally arbitrary and never proven.

Consequences of the punishments[edit]

In Italy, like most national football leagues, clubs earn three points for a win and one point for a draw. The club with the most points at the end of the season is the league champion, while the last few teams (the number depending on the league rules) are relegated to a lower division; in Serie A's case, the last three teams.

The clubs sent down to Serie B were initially slated to have a difficult road back to the top flight. They would have had to finish in the top two of Serie B to be assured of promotion, but at the same time had to avoid finishing in the bottom four to keep from being relegated to Serie C1. Juventus, for example, was initially docked 30 points—the equivalent of having ten wins nullified. This made it very likely that they would not return to Serie A until 2008 at the earliest. The point penalty, however, was reduced to nine points, giving Juventus a fighting chance at promotion. They won the Serie B championship in 2006–07 season, having clinched a spot in Serie A by May 2007.

The three clubs who remained in Serie A also were slated to have a difficult 2006–2007 season, especially Fiorentina, who were docked 15 points. With this large deduction, it was thought likely that Fiorentina would fail to finish high enough in Serie A to achieve a place in European competitions for the 2007–08 season, and there was an outside chance that it would finish in the bottom three and be relegated to Serie B. Fiorentina, however, finished the 2006–07 season in sixth place, giving them a place in the 2007–08 UEFA Cup.

The relegation of Juventus also prompted a mass exodus of many important players such as Fabio Cannavaro, Lilian Thuram, and Zlatan Ibrahimović. Some 30 other players who participated at the 2006 FIFA World Cup were also affected and many opted to move to the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, and other European leagues.

Effect on Serie A[edit]

Initially, with Juventus, Fiorentina, and Lazio all relegated, Messina, Lecce, and Treviso would have remained in Serie A, despite occupying the bottom three places in the 2005–06 season. After the appeals, only Messina remained in Serie A. Teams promoted from Serie B (Atalanta, Catania, and Torino) were unaffected and promoted to Serie A as normal.

Based on their final league positions, Juventus and Milan would have earned a direct entry into the UEFA Champions League, Internazionale and Fiorentina would have entered the third qualifying round of the Champions League, and Roma, Lazio, and Chievo would have been eligible for the UEFA Cup. The list of Italian participants in next season's competitions was due to be given to UEFA by 5 June.[9] On 6 June 2006, the FIGC officially withdrew from the 2006 Intertoto Cup, costing Palermo a place in the third round of the competition, citing the fact that the 2005–06 Serie A standings could not be confirmed by the 5 June deadline.

UEFA gave FIGC a July 25, 2006 deadline to confirm the standings or face sanctions in the two larger European competitions (then extended to July 26). After the appeals, Inter, Roma, Chievo and Milan occupied Italy's four Champions League places for 2006–07. Inter and Roma received a direct entry into the Champions League, while Chievo and Milan started at the third qualifying round. Milan's entry was confirmed by UEFA shortly after the appeals process. This would be a major key point as Milan went on to win the competition. Palermo, Livorno and Parma took the UEFA Cup first round slots originally going to Roma, Lazio, and Chievo.[7]

On 26 July, FIGC declared Internazionale as the Italian Champion for the 2005–06 season.[10]

Juventus originally announced that they planned to appeal the punishment to the Italian civil courts, an action that would have brought further punishment to the clubs and the FIGC by FIFA. FIFA has historically taken a dim view to government involvement in football administration. Earlier in 2006, FIFA briefly suspended the Hellenic Football Federation due to draft Greek legislation that would have allowed for government supervision of football. FIFA announced that it had the option to suspend the FIGC, thus barring all Italian clubs from international play, if Juventus went to court.[11] The hearing was scheduled for 1 September. Juventus, however, dropped its appeal before the Lazio Regional Administrative Court (TAR in Italian) on 31 August, the day before it was to be heard. Juventus officials cited the "willingness shown by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) to review its case during (CONI's) arbitration."[12]

On 26 October 2006, the second appeal resulted in Milan continuing to be deducted 8 points, while Lazio's penalty was reduced to 3 points, Juventus' reduced to 9 points and Fiorentina's reduced to 15 points.

Other allegations[edit]

Massimo De Santis was to be Italy's referee representative in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but was barred by the Italian Football Federation after coming under investigation.[13] Italian referee Roberto Rosetti remained untainted by the scandal, and he was one of the 21 2006 FIFA World Cup officials.

The eruption of the scandal has also drawn attention to many potential conflicts of interest within Italian football. Adriano Galliani, the vice president and CEO of A.C. Milan, also serves as the president of Serie A.

In addition to allegations of corruption and sports fraud by owners, managers, players, referees, and league officials, "the host of Italy's most popular football show, Aldo Biscardi, has resigned amid allegations that he collaborated with Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi to boost the club's image on television".[14]

In all, magistrates in Naples formally investigated 41 people and looked into 19 Serie A matches from the 2004–05 season and 14 Serie A matches from the 2005–06 season. Prosecutors in Turin examined Juventus chairman Antonio Giraudo over transfers, suspected falsified accounts, and tax evasion. Prosecutors in Parma still are investigating national team goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Enzo Maresca, Antonio Chimenti and Mark Iuliano (retired) for suspected gambling on Serie A matches.[15]

After the first penalties were handed out, more teams are being looked at for possible links to the scandal. Charges were laid against Reggina and a 15-point penalty handed down.[4] Messina, Lecce and Siena are also being investigated as prosecutors continue to analyse transcripts of telephone calls.[16]

Resignations and appointments[edit]

Franco Carraro resigned from the presidency of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the body responsible for selecting Italy's FIFA World Cup national team, on 8 May. Juventus' entire board of directors resigned on 11 May, Moggi resigned shortly after Juventus won the 2006 Serie A championship on 14 May. On the Borsa Italiana, Italy's stock market, Juventus shares had lost about half their 9 May value as of 19 May.[17]

Sentences[edit]

The following punishments were given to individuals:[6]

Later developments[edit]

In April 2007 the Italian daily La Repubblica disclosed some new details about the Calciopoli affair. Naples prosecutors were able to find out a series of telephone calls, through foreign SIM cards between Moggi, Bergamo, Pairetto and several referees. Since the conversations were through foreign SIM cards, the Italian police could not tap them: they could only try to match together phone numbers, numbers called and places. The SIM cards had been purchased in a store in Chiasso (Switzerland). Some SIM cards were Swiss and registered to the store owner's family, the others came from an anonymous person in Liechtenstein. The prosecutors also discovered the use of a Slovenian SIM card. In this investigation they involved Moggi, Pairetto, Bergamo, Fabiani (Messina sporting director), the referees De Santis, Racalbuto, Paparesta, Pieri, Cassarà, Dattilo, Bertini, Gabriele and the assistant Ambrosino. According to this investigation, Paparesta also used the Swiss SIM card for personal use, and this helped the prosecutors to discover this secret communication channel. Apparently, Moggi had five foreign SIM cards, two of which had been used to communicate with Bergamo and Pairetto, whereas the others had supposed to been used to communicate with the referees and Fabiani.[18]

Moreover, another wiretapping was recently unveiled by the Italian daily La Stampa. Although containing nothing truly compromising, in the recording Moggi and Marcello Lippi (former coach of Juventus and coach of the Italian national team at the time) clearly insult Internazionale's president (Massimo Moratti) and trainer (Roberto Mancini). Lippi states that Mancini deserves a lesson, and Moggi answers that Mancini will have such a lesson.[19]

On 26 April 2007 La Repubblica's web site published about two hundred audio files of the wiretappings, some published one year before in the written form and some never published. This allows readers to perceive tones and forms of the conversations as well.[20]

Milan, originally ejected from the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League due to the scandal, went on to win the competition on 23 May 2007.

On 17 June 2007 on the Italian show Qui Studio A Voi Stadio, a popular football show broadcast by the local TV Telelombardia based in Milan, Bergamo admitted that Moggi actually gave two Swiss SIM cards to Pairetto, and Pairetto gave one of those SIM cards to him. Bergamo stated that, on suspicion of being tapped, he used that SIM card only to communicate with Pairetto and that, after the exhaustion of the credit, he did not use the SIM card anymore.

In June 2008, Juventus fined again for €300,000 in 3 installments. Messina fined for €60,000.[21][22]

During the Calciopoli trial in Naples, the legal team of Luciano Moggi released a number of wiretapping showing that AC Milan and Inter had been involved too in the Serie A scandal during 2004 and 2005. Such wiretappings were involving AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, Inter owner Massimo Moratti, then-Inter chairman Giacinto Facchetti and former referee designators Paolo Bergamo and Pierluigi Pairetto, as well as many others Italian clubs not previously mentioned in the scandal.

On June 15, 2011 FIGC announced that former Juventus directors Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo would be banned for life from any football-related roles in Italy. But the sentence stated that no Article 6 (about match-fixing or attempted match-fixing) violations were found within the intercepted calls and the season was fair and legitimate. Also no requests for specific referees, no demands for favours and no conversations between Juventus directors and referees themselves were found.[23]

In July 2011 Inter leaders are alleged to have committed sporting fraud during Calciopoli by FIGC Chief investigator, Stefano Palazzi, claiming "Inter violated the article relative to sporting fraud and is directly responsible for having secured an advantage in the league standings by conditioning the regular function of the referee sector, but no court could confirm this allegations since all facts are covered by statute of limitation.[24] Regarding this Giancarlo Abate, president of FIGC, stated that there were no legal ground to revoke the title from Inter. However he also hinted that Inter Milan should hand back the 2006 Serie A Scudetto to rivals Juventus, on the basis of ethics.[25]

On November 8, 2011 Naples court issued the first conclusion of the criminal case against Luciano Moggi and the other football personalities involved, sentencing him to jail for 5 years and 4 months.[26] This follows conviction of former Juventus Director Giraudo (3 years) and others in a branch of the same court case.[27]

In December 2013, Luciano Moggi was given a sentence of 2 years and 4 months for being found guilty of conspiring to commit a crime. However the earlier charge of sporting fraud passed the statute of limitations.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Simon Kuper (2006-07-07). "Azzurri’s quest consoles nation rocked by scandals". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 15 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  2. ^ "Relegation call for Italian four", BBC, 4 July 2006.
  3. ^ "Italy prosecutor wants Reggina relegated", The Guardian, 13 August 2006.
  4. ^ a b c "Reggina to stay in Serie A", The World Game, 18 August 2006.
  5. ^ a b c "Reggina suffer 15-point deduction". BBC News. 2006-08-17. Retrieved 2006-08-19. 
  6. ^ a b "Calciopoli: The sentences in full". channel4.com. 2006-07-14. Retrieved 2006-07-30. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Punishments cut for Italian clubs". BBC. 2006-07-25. Archived from the original on 26 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f As a consequence of the FIGC punishment. This does not include other possible sanctions for European competition that could be handed out by UEFA.
  9. ^ "Tax police search Juventus offices as probe goes on", ESPNsoccernet, 18 May 2006.
  10. ^ "Inter assigned the 2005/2006 league season title", FIGC official site, 26 July 2006.
  11. ^ "Juventus to appeal sentence despite FIFA threats", ESPNSoccernet, 24 August 2006
  12. ^ "Juve formally withdraws TAR appeal" ANSA.it, 1 September 2006
  13. ^ James Eve, "Italy's elite prepare defences ahead of tribunal", Reuters, 27 June 2006.
  14. ^ Jesper Kock and Kirsten Sparre, "TV host felled for his part in Juventus scandal", PlayTheGame.org, 26 May 2006.
  15. ^ "Serie A quartet will stand trial", BBC, 23 June 2006.
  16. ^ "Minnows face Calciopoli probe" channel4.com, 20 July 2006.
  17. ^ "Lippi meets magistrates as Juve's shares tumble", ESPNsoccernet, 19 May 2006.
  18. ^ Moggi and the secret SIM cards on 107 matches, Il Giornale (Italian language), 16 April 2007
  19. ^ Mancini needs a lesson, Goal.com (Italian language), 20 April 2007
  20. ^ Calciopoli's wiretappings, La Repubblica (Italian language), 26th April 2007
  21. ^ "Disciplinare: chiusi i procedimenti per Juventus, Messina e Paparesta". FIGC (in Italian). 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  22. ^ "Juventus fined again". RTÉ Sport. 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  23. ^ "Revealed: The evidence that shows Luciano Moggi is the victim of a witch-hunt in yet another example of the farce that is Calciopoli". goal.com. 2011-06-17. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  24. ^ "Inter alleged to have committed sporting fraud during Calciopoli". 2011-07-04. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  25. ^ "Inter Should Hand Back The 2006 Scudetto". 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  26. ^ "Moggi sentenced over match-fixing". fourfourtwo.it. Retrieved December 14, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Giraudo sentenced to 3 years together with Lanese, Pieri, and others". goal.com. Retrieved December 14, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Moggi Calciopoli sentence cut". 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 

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