2006 Serie A scandal: Wikis

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The 2006 Italian football scandal (Italian: Calciopoli or Moggiopoli, sometimes referred to as Calciocaos[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 Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, and Reggina when a number of telephone interceptions showed a thick network of relations between team managers and referee organisations. Juventus were the champions of Serie A at the time. The teams have been accused of rigging games by selecting favourable referees.

Contents

Origins

The scandal first came to light as a consequence of investigations of Naples 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 manager Luciano Moggi had conversations with several officials of Italian football to influence referee appointment. The name Calciopoli is a pun on Tangentopoli, [rough English translation:Bribesville], a corruption-based attitude starting in the early 80s and ending with the Mani Pulite investigation in the early 90s, led by, among others, Antonio di Pietro. Another very common name for Calciopoli is Moggiopoli after the name of Luciano Moggi. Also Calciogate, a pun on Watergate, is used. "Calcio" means football in Italian.

Club punishments

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 (6 for Juventus, 3 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, whilst the club president Pasquale "Lillo" Foti was fined £20,000 and banned from the game for 2½ 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 Relegated to Serie B 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 C1 Relegated to Serie B Relegated to Serie B Deducted 30 points Deducted 17 points Deducted 9 points • £31,000,000 (equivalent) fine
• Club president Lippi 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
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; whilst in the case of other teams the same effect was not considered so much evident. Juventus representatives considered this assumption totally arbitrary and never proved.

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Consequences of the punishments

In Italy, like most national football leagues, clubs earn 3 points for a win and 1 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 10 wins nullified. This made it very likely that they would not return to Serie A until 2008 at the earliest. However, the point penalty was reduced to nine points, giving Juve 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 2007-2008 season, and there was an outside chance that it would finish in the bottom three and be relegated to Serie B. However, Fiorentina finished the 2006-07 season in sixth place, giving them a place in the 2007-2008 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 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.[9] On June 6, 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 AC 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). Palermo, Livorno and Parma took the UEFA Cup first round slots originally going to Roma, Lazio, and Chievo.[7]

On July 26, 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 has announced that it has the option to suspend the FIGC—thus barring all Italian clubs from international play—if Juventus had gone to court [11]. The hearing was scheduled for September 1. However, Juventus dropped its appeal before the Lazio Regional Administrative Court (TAR in Italian) on August 31, the day before it was to be heard. Juve 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

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

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

The following punishments were given to individuals [6]:

  • Franco Carraro: €80,000 fine.
  • Massimo De Santis: 4 year ban from football.
  • Paolo Dondarini: 2 year jail sentence.
  • Pasquale Foti: 2½ year ban from football, and €30,000 fine [5].
  • Adriano Galliani: 5 month ban from football.
  • Antonio Giraudo: €20,000 fine, 5 year ban from football and a three year jail term, with a further recommendation to the FIGC president that he be banned for life from membership of the FIGC at any level.
  • Pietro Ingargiola: Given a warning.
  • Tullio Lanese: 2 year jail sentence and 2½ year ban from football.
  • Claudio Lotito: 2½ year ban from football.
  • Gennaro Mazzei: 1 year ban from football.
  • Innocenzo Mazzini: 5 year ban from football.
  • Leonardo Meani: 2½ year ban from football.
  • Luciano Moggi: 5 year ban from football, with a further recommendation to the FIGC president that he be banned for life from membership of the FIGC at any level.
  • Pierluigi Pairetto: 3½ year ban from football.
  • Gianluca Paparesta: 3 month ban from football.
  • Claudio Puglisi: 3 month ban from football.
  • Fabrizio Babini: 1 year ban from football.
  • Andrea Della Valle: 3 year ban from football.
  • Diego Della Valle: 3 year 9 month ban from football.

Rossi Telecom Italia takeover controversy

Since the trial, some further controversy has emerged especially among the Juventus fanbase[citation needed]. This is due to perceived bias in favour of Internazionale who were the main beneficiary from the 2006 Serie A scandal; they were awarded as champions as the outcome although they only finished 3rd and they have also brought in top players; Patrick Vieira (now at Manchester City) and Zlatan Ibrahimović (now at Barcelona) from Juventus since the club's relegation.

Telecom Italia interception scandal and Inter's role

In September 2006 Italian football was shaken again by a new investigation. The head of the security department of Telecom Italia (Italy's biggest fixed network operator company) was arrested for having organised a trade of interceptions to public personalities' private calls. Internazionale was involved in the process from the beginning when Carlo Buora, Chief Operating Officer of Telecom Italia and vice-president of Inter, being the boss of Tavaroli, was accused of being involved. During questioning, Tavaroli admitted that the president of Inter (Massimo Moratti) was one of the customers of this trade, having requested interceptions of many football personalities among referees, footballers and officers[18][19].

Inter was involved only slightly in Calciopoli scandal though Paolo Bergamo (referee appointing official) claimed, during questioning, that all major teams have the same level of relations with him and, during public interviews, wondered why not all the relevant calls that he received from team managers went out during the investigation [20] claiming that other teams, including Inter, should have been punished too.[21]

Italian Football Federation (now under the lead of Luca Pancalli) has started a new enquiry about these charges. It is unlikely that Inter will be sanctioned since the supposed illegal facts ascribed to Inter are dated 2002 and in Italy, as per the Sporting Justice Code of FIGC, illegal facts ascribed to teams are invalidated by prescription after two seasons. It is true that, if the illegal facts will be proved, the responsible persons still risk sanctions since for single persons illegal facts are invalidated by prescription after four seasons: in this case it would be at the end of the 2006/07 season.

False account scandal

In June 2008, 7 Serie A clubs were fined for false accounting by inflating the prices of players they bought and sold, in order to pass financial tests in 2003-04, 2004-05 season.[22] and 2005-06 season.

The following punishments were given to individuals:

AC Milan[23]
  • The Company: €90,000 fine.
  • Adriano Galliani (Vice-President): €60,000 fine.
Internazionale[23]
  • The Company: €90,000 fine.
  • Massimo Moratti (Owner) €10,000 fine.
  • Gabriele Oriali (technical director) €10,000 fine.
  • Mauro Gambaro (ex-CEO) €20,000 fine.
  • Rinaldo Ghelfi (ex-CEO and by-then Vice-President) €20,000 fine.
Sampdoria[23]
  • The Company: € 36,000 fine.
  • Giuseppe Marotta: € 20,000 fine.
  • Riccardo Garrone: € 18,000 fine.
Genoa[24][25]
  • The Company: € 400,000 fine.
  • Giovanni Blondet: €15,000 fine.
  • Enrico Preziosi: Banned 4 months and €15,000 fine.
Reggina[24]
  • The Company: € 400,000 fine.
  • Pasquale Foti: Banned 1 month and €20,000 fine.
Udinese[24]
  • The Company: € 400,000 fine.
  • Franco Soldati (President): Banned 3 months and €30,000 fine.
  • Pierpaolo Marino (by-then Vice-President): €15,000 fine.
Chievo[26][27]
  • The Company: € 50,000 fine.
  • Luca Campedelli (owner): € 40,000 fine.
  • Giovanni Sartori (sports director): € 15,000 fine.

Latest developments

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 been used to communicate with the referees and Fabiani.[28]

Investigating the SIM cards, the prosecutors discovered some worrying details. During the 24 hours preceding the match Juventus-Milan, one of the most important matches of that championship, played on 18 December 2004, they discovered a series of 13 telephone calls between Moggi and Bertini, the referee of that match. They also discovered a series of 18 telephone calls between Bertini and Fabiani and another 11 between Fabiani and Moggi. According to the prosecutors, Fabiani would be the "instigator", the intermediary between Moggi and the referees. The match finally resulted in a goalless draw and all the press severely criticized Bertini for not allowing two clear penalties to Milan and for a perceived clemence with regard to Juventus.[29]

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.[30]

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.[31]

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.[32][33]

See also

References

  1. ^ Simon Kuper (2006-07-07). "Azzurri’s quest consoles nation rocked by scandals". Financial Times. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/6129251e-0de3-11db-a385-0000779e2340.html. 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. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/5261574.stm. Retrieved 2006-08-19. 
  6. ^ a b "Calciopoli: The sentences in full". channel4.com. 2006-07-14. http://www.channel4.com/sport/football_italia/jul14m.html. Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  7. ^ a b "Punishments cut for Italian clubs". BBC. 2006-07-25. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/europe/5215178.stm. Retrieved 2006-07-30. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f As a consequence of the FIGC punishment. This does not include other possible sactions 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. ^ New revelation rocks Inter, Channel 4, 2 October 2006
  19. ^ Juventus, FIGC and Gea in the web of spies, La Repubblica (Italian language), 27 September 2006
  20. ^ "Football scandal: Bergamo poisonously "All managers called, not only Moggi"", La Repubblica (Italian language), 12 September 2006
  21. ^ Bergamo: Inter worse than Juve, Channel 4, 3 December 2006
  22. ^ "Inter and AC Milan chiefs face new probe". Reuters. ESPN Soccernet. 2007-01-17. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=400330&cc=3888. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  23. ^ a b c "COMUNICATO STAMPA" (in Italian). FIGC. 2008-06-12. http://www.figc.it/Assets/contentresources_2/ContenutoGenerico/77.$plit/C_2_ContenutoGenerico_18998_StrilloAreaStampa_upfDownload.pdf. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  24. ^ a b c http://www.figc.it/en/204/19037/2008/06/News.shtml
  25. ^ Three Serie A clubs fined for false accounting
  26. ^ http://www.tuttomercatoweb.com/?action=read&id=112848
  27. ^ Comunicato n° 003CDN del 10/07/2008
  28. ^ Moggi and the secret SIM cards on 107 matches, Il Giornale (Italian language), 16 April 2007
  29. ^ Juventus-A.C. Milan: Bertini calls Moggi, 42 calls to fix the challenge, La Repubblica (Italian language), 15 April 2007
  30. ^ Mancini needs a lesson, Goal.com (Italian language), 20 April 2007
  31. ^ Calciopoli's wiretappings, La Repubblica (Italian language), 26th April 2007
  32. ^ "Disciplinare: chiusi i procedimenti per Juventus, Messina e Paparesta" (in Italian). FIGC. 2008-06-18. http://www.figc.it/it/204/19034/2008/06/News.shtml. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  33. ^ "Juventus fined again". RTÉ Sport. 2008-06-18. http://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2008/0618/juventus.html. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 

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