2006 Italian football scandal
The 2006 Italian football scandal, or Calciopoli in the Italian-speaking world, 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.
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.
On 4 July 2006, the Italian Football Federation's prosecutor, Stefano Palazzi, called for all four clubs at the centre of the scandal to be thrown out of Serie A. Palazzi called for Juventus "being excluded from the Serie A Championship and assigned to a lower category to Serie B with 6 points deducted," without a specific division stated, and for Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio, downgrade at last place in the 2005–06 championship and relegation to Serie B. He also asked for points penalties to be imposed in the next championship which the clubs would participate in (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.
In the case against Reggina on 13 August, the prosecutor called for Reggina to be demoted to Serie B with a 15-point penalty. On 17 August, Reggina's punishment was handed down: a 15-point penalty, but no relegation from Serie A. 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.
|Original punishment||Appeal result||Final punishment||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 from the 2005–06 Serie A Championship
• Deducted 15 points from the 2006–07 Serie A Championship
• Out of 2006-07 UEFA Champions League
|• Deducted 30 points 2005–06 Serie A Championship
• One home game behind closed doors.
|Fiorentina||Relegated to Serie B||Administrative relegation cancelled||Administrative relegation cancelled||Deducted 12 points
|Deducted 19 points
|Deducted 15 points
|• Out of 2006–07 UEFA Champions League||• Out of 2006–07 UEFA Champions League
• 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||• £50,000 (equivalent) fine||• Stripped of 2004–05 Champions of Italy title
• 2005–06 Champions of Italy title no assigned
• Downgrade at last place in the 2005–06 championship and relegation to Serie B.
|Lazio||Relegated to Serie B||Administrative relegation cancelled||Administrative relegation cancelled||Deducted 7 points (Serie B)||Deducted 11 points (Serie A)||Deducted 3 points (Serie A)||• Out of 2006-07 UEFA Cup||• Out of 2006–07 UEFA Cup
• Two home games behind closed doors
|Reggina||(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
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, and also they 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
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. 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 25 July 2006 deadline to confirm the standings or face sanctions in the two larger European competitions (then extended to 26 July). 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.
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. 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."
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.
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. 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".
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.
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. Messina, Lecce and Siena are also being investigated as prosecutors continue to analyse transcripts of telephone calls.
Resignations and appointments
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.
The following punishments were given to individuals:
- Luciano Moggi: life ban from football and a recommendation to the FIGC president that he be banned for life from membership of the FIGC at any level.
- Antonio Giraudo: Fined €20,000, five-year ban from football, three years' jail, and a recommendation to the FIGC president that he be banned for life from membership of the FIGC at any level.
- Paolo Dondarini: Two years' jail.
- Tullio Lanese: Two years' jail and 2½-year ban from football.
- Innocenzo Mazzini: Five-year ban from football.
- Massimo De Santis: Four-year ban from football.
- Diego Della Valle: 3-year, 9-month ban from football.
- Pierluigi Pairetto: 3½-year ban from football.
- Andrea Della Valle: Three-year ban from football.
- Pasquale Foti: 2½-year ban from football and fined €30,000.
- Claudio Lotito: 2½-year ban from football.
- Leonardo Meani: 2½-year ban from football.
- Fabrizio Babini: 1-year ban from football.
- Gennaro Mazzei: 1-year ban from football.
- Adriano Galliani: Five-month ban from football.
- Gianluca Paparesta: Five-month ban from football.
- Claudio Puglisi: Three-month ban from football.
- Franco Carraro: Fined €80,000.
- Pietro Ingargiola: Given a warning.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 15 June 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.
In July 2011, FIGC Chief investigator, Stefano Palazzi alleged in his report that, in addition to Luciano Moggi, the following club officials have also violated the Code of Sporting Justice by contacting referee designators in illegal manners.
- Article 1: Campedelli (Chievo), Cellino (Cagliari), Corsi (Empoli), Foschi (Palermo), Foti (Reggina), Gasparin (Vicenza), Governato (Brescia), Meani (Milan), Moratti (Inter), Spalletti (Udinese).
- Article 6: Facchetti (Inter), Meani (Milan), Spinelli (Livorno).
According to Palazzi's findings, the clubs represented by the above people had to be punished during the Calciopoli trial. However, no court could confirm these allegations since all facts are covered by the statute of limitation. Regarding Palazzi's report, Giancarlo Abate, then-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.
On 8 November 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. This follows conviction of former Juventus Director Giraudo (3 years) and others in a branch of the same court case.
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.
On 23 March 2015, in its final resolution, the Supreme Court ruled that Moggi was acquitted of “some individual charges for sporting fraud, but not from being the ‘promoter’ of the 'criminal conspiracy' that culminated in Calciopoli.” Nevertheless, the remaining charges of Moggi were cancelled without a new trial due to the statute of limitations. Appeals by Fiorentina owners Andrea and Diego Della Valle and Lazio President Claudio Lotito against their sentences were also rejected on the same ground -- their cases have also passed the statute of limitations. The court accepted the prosecutor’s request to clear charges of former referees, Paolo Bertini, Antonio Dattilo, and Gennaro Mazzei, but rejected the appeals for Massimo De Santis and Savaltore Racabulto. Shortly after the court’s decision, FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio remarked in an interview with ANSA that “while the motivations may be pending, the sentence confirms the thesis of the prosecution,” and that “the crimes were real and so was the criminal conspiracy.” In response to the final verdict, Moggi claimed that it merely let the courts off the hook, not him. He vowed to turn to the European Court in hopes to have his ban from football world lifted.
On 9 September 2015, the Supreme Court released a 150 page document that explains its final ruling of the case. Despite that Moggi’s remaining charges were cancelled without a new trial due to statute of limitations, the court made clear that Moggi’s unwarranted activities incurred significant damage to Italian football not only in sporting, but also in economic terms. In the document, the court confirms that Moggi was actively involved in the sporting fraud which was intended to favor Juventus and increase his own personal benefits:
Per i supremi giudici, Moggi ha commesso sia il reato di associazione per delinquere, sia la frode sportiva «in favore della società di appartenenza (la Juventus)», ed ha anche ottenuto «vantaggi personali in termini di accrescimento del potere (già di per sè davvero ragguardevole senza alcuna apparente giustificazione)».
The document also states that Moggi had “unjustified and excessive power within Italian football,” which he used to exert influence over referees, other club officials and media, thereby creating "an illegal system to condition matches of the 2004/05 championship (and not just those).”
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- As a consequence of the FIGC punishment. This does not include other possible sanctions for European competition that could be handed out by UEFA.
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- Complete record of FIGC decision, July 2006 (ITA)
- Complete record of FIGC decision, June 2011 (ITA)
- Complete sentence for November 2011 trial written by Naples court (ITA)
- Complete sentence for December 2013 trial written by Naples court (ITA)
|Wikinews has related news: Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina relegated from Italy's Serie A|
|Wikinews has related news: Scandal Appeals see Lazio and Fiorentine reinstated back into Serie A|
- Report from the Guardian
- Former Juventus manager quizzed about involvement
- BBC Sport article
- BBC Sport article on the history of similar scandals
- The Sunday Business Post, 16 July 2006, "The Italian Job"
- Italian Website analyzing the scandal
- Juventus shareholders website with documents and analysis on the scandal (ITA)
- Analysis on the controversies surrounding the scandal (English)
- Football chaos: 3 years for Giraudo "Criminal association"
- Prosecution and Controversy Surrounding the Scandal