Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Calciopoli: New charges for "organisers of a criminal association"

Naples magistrates have on Tuesday completed their latest investigations into the referee-rigging "Calciopoli" scandal and have charged 37 people including former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi.

Last year a sporting tribunal stripped Juventus of their last two Serie A titles and demoted them to Serie B after being found guilty, while AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, Reggina and second division outfit Arezzo all started last season with points deductions.

Moggi, the alleged ringleader of attempts to arrange friendly match officials for some teams' games, is accused of "sporting fraud" and of being part of a criminal organisation.

This latest investigation is a separate probe to that held last summer. According to the prosecutors, there are 29 games from the 2004-05 Serie A season and one from Serie B that have been investigated.

Ex Juve director Antonio Giraudo, Milan official Leonardo Meani, Fiorentina owners Andrea Della Valle and Diego Della Valle, Lazio president Claudio Lotito, and former Italian Federation (FIGC) chiefs Franco Carraro and Innocenzo Mazzini were accused of being some of "the creators and organisers of a criminal association" by prosecutors Filippo Beatrice and Giuseppe Narducci.

Former referee-designators Paolo Bergamo and Pier Luigi Pairetto - both suspected of fixing friendly match-officials for Moggi, three referees - Massimo De Santis, Salvatore Racalbuto and Pasquale Rodomonti - and two linesmen were among those prosecutors want to bring to trial.

The case will now go to a preliminary hearing, where a judge will decide whether to grant the prosecutors' requests.

When news of the new Naples investigation broke in April, fans feared it would lead to further sanctions for clubs following the demotions and points deductions suffered last season. It now looks highly unlikely that clubs will be hit a second time but Moggi may be among those facing further punishment, possibly including prison.

CHARGED: Marcello Ambrosino, Duccio Baglioni, Paolo Bergamo, Paolo Bertini, Franco Carraro, Stefano Cassara, Enrico Ceniccola, Antonio Dattilo, Massimo De Santis, Andrea Della Valle, Diego Della Valle, Paolo Dondarini, Mariano Fabiani, Maria Grazia Fazi, Giuseppe Foschetti, Pasquale Foti, Marco Gabriele, Silvio Gemignani, Francesco Ghirelli, Antonio Giraudo, Alessandro Griselli, Tullio Lanese, Claudio Lotito, Gennaro Mazzei, Innocenzo Mazzini, Leonardo Meani, Sandro Mencucci, Domenico Messina, Luciano Moggi, Pierluigi Pairetto, Tiziano Pieri, Claudio Puglisi, Salvatore Racalbuto, Gianluca Rocchi, Pasquale Rodomonti, Ignazio Scardina and Stefano Titomanlio.

These latest charges came on the same day a Rome court announced that many of Italian football's biggest names will be called to give evidence in the trial regarding GEA World, a players' management agency run by Moggi's son Alessandro.

Alessandro and Luciano Moggi are both on trial in Rome, along with Davide Lippi, the son of Italy's World Cup-winning coach Marcello, and three other people. They are accused of gaining an illegal hold over the Serie A transfer market by intimidating players into dropping their existing agents and signing up with GEA.

The witnesses include: Marcello Lippi; Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti; former Real Madrid and Juventus boss Fabio Capello; Juventus players David Trezeguet, Pavel Nedved and Alessandro Del Piero; Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro and former Lazio president Sergio Cragnotti.

News gathered from: ANSA, La Gazzetta dello Sport, C4 Football Italia, Reuters & AP.


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