Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Moggi ‘ruled Calcio with iron fist’

The CAF has given its reasons for reducing the penalties in the match-fixing scandal, stating that Luciano Moggi ‘forced’ Lazio, Fiorentina and Milan to seek aid. The Federal Court of Appeal slashed the original punishment meted out in the inquest, returning Lazio and Fiorentina to Serie A following their demotion and cutting the points deductions given to Milan and Juventus.

“Moggi was responsible for serious episodes of sporting fraud, both over time – in particular the 2004-05 season – and his behaviour which was aimed at creating a structure that would alter the competition through conditioning of refereeing decisions,” explained President Pietro Santulli (pictured) in the paperwork released this evening. “As his illicit design was eventually successful, he damaged the public’s faith in the fairness of sporting competition. To metaphorically speaking survive in Serie A, it was necessary to bow down to Moggi's will.”

Juventus were the only club to remain in Serie B after the appeal to the CAF and Santulli revealed why the Turin giants were punished so much more than the other sides involved. “The behaviour of Moggi and Antonio Giraudo cannot be compared to the other directors (Fiorentina’s Andrea Della Valle and Sandro Mencucci, ndr), whose actions had nowhere near the same causal effect. The Juventus representatives had the full and concrete intention of falsifying the table by conditioning referees, whose decisions were influenced by Moggi and Giraudo.”

Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio had claimed that they were merely ‘reacting’ to the Moggi system in place, a theory that was in part accepted by the CAF.

In the 117-page report, it was also explained why Lazio’s demotion to Serie B was revoked, pointing out that “no referees were named in the inquiry or punished for their part in the three games that President Claudio Lotito spoke about with refereeing designator Paolo Bergamo. Therefore it is illogical to consider this a sporting fraud.”

Fiorentina have returned to Serie A, albeit with a 19-point penalty to kick off the 2006-07 campaign, because there was “no conclusive evidence” of direct responsibility for match-fixing, only indirect liability. The calls of complaint also came straight after a match against Messina in which the Viola felt themselves heavily penalised by the referee.

Milan were the least penalised in the Calciopoli trial due to the actions of refereeing liaison Leonardo Meani. “He may well be a low-ranking official in the club, but he did clearly overstep his boundaries in a bid to favour his side.”

“The Juventus directors were certainly highly poisonous in their systematic and organised stability. This means their position in this trial is incomparable to the others.”

Nonetheless, the Bianconeri’s original 30-point penalty in Serie B for the 2006-07 season was reduced to 17 on appeal, giving them a better chance of gaining promotion within the year. “It seems right to view the original penalty with the important and prestigious sporting history of this club, the fruits of which were also enjoyed by the national team,” continued the CAF’s report. “The resignation and removal of the directors responsible for the punishment should also be a factor in favour of the side.”

Juventus are not content with the verdict and have lodged an appeal to the CONI’s Court of Conciliation. Their lawyers will be heard on August 18, while Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani and Juve’s Antonio Giraudo’s hearings are on September 5. Moggi and former FIGC vice-President Innocenzo Mazzini are to discuss their positions on September 7.

View the full report (Italian) >>>


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