Rocking the football world in 2006, the Calciopoli scandal left a shocking mark on Italian football.
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Involving many high profile clubs including Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio, Juve’s wrongdoings were particularly striking. Their role in the saga was first uncovered when Italian football investigators focused their search on the football agency GEA World that was owned by a certain Luciano Moggi.
This led them down the path to discovering that Juventus’ Sporting Director and Chairman, Moggi and Antonio Giraudo respectively, were trying to pick referees that would favour the Bianconeri. This was later proven when phone taps revealed that Moggi and Giraudo had talked to many officials to persuade them into selecting referees they desired to oversee Juve’s matches. Indeed, Moggi’s relationship with the head of the refereeing association, Pierluigi Pairetto, enabled him to pull the strings heavily, with many chats between the two recorded to prove the meddling of Moggi.
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Conversations directly with referees were found to have occurred too, with hefty payments to officials having taken place too. In addition, referees were also asked to give certain players yellow cards to ensure they missed subsequent games against Juventus. The powerful Moggi’s pulling power didn’t end there, however, for he reportedly influenced team selections of opponents, sections of the media and when games were to be postponed or cancelled.
The fact Moggi enjoyed contacts all over the football world in Italy from within many areas from the media to the football federation only enhanced his capacity to get things done his way.
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But once he was found out, Juventus were justifiably punished by getting relegated to Serie B and Moggi received a life ban from football.
A scandal that will forever tarnish the reputation of the Turin giants, this terrible story shone the spotlight on the corruption that existed in Italian football. Now, with things much better in Italy, at least Calciopoli served as a reminder for many on why it’s best to play by the rules and operate in a sporting manner.