Friday, 3 October 2008

Moggi among 24 to stand trial

Former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi was among 24 people sent to criminal trial on Friday for their alleged role in the 2006 Calciopoli scandal.

Luciano MoggiMoggi could face prison if found guilty after a judge at a Naples preliminary hearing decided prosecutors had presented enough evidence to warrant a trial.

Lazio President Claudio Lotito, Reggina President Pasquale Foti and Fiorentina owners Diego and Andrea Della Valle are also among the accused along with a number of club directors and former match and federation officials.

Those who will stand trial accused of criminal association and/or sporting fraud are Marcello Ambrosino, Paolo Bergamo, Paolo Bertini, Enrico Ceniccola, Antonio Dattilo, Massimo De Santis, Andrea Della Valle, Diego Della Valle, Mariano Fabiani, Maria Grazia Fazi, Pasquale Foti, Silvio Gemignani, Claudio Lotito, Gennaro Mazzei, Innocenzo Mazzini, Leonardo Meani, Sandro Mencucci, Luciano Moggi, Pierluigi Pairetto, Claudio Puglisi, Salvatore Racalbuto, Pasquale Rodomonti, Ignazio Scardina and Stefano Titomanlio.

The trial will start on January 20, 2009.

Eleven others - Duccio Baglioni, Stefano Cassara, Paolo Dondarini, Giuseppe Foschetti, Marco Gabriele, Antonio Giraudo, Alessandro Griselli, Tullio Lanese, Domenico Messina, Tiziano Pieri and Gianluca Rocchi - could face a similar fate following another preliminary hearing on October 27.

Franco Carraro, the ex-President of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), has been cleared of the charges against him along with another former federation director Francesco Ghirelli.

Moggi was banned from football for five years after being found guilty at a sporting trial in 2006 for being at the centre of attempts to procure favourable officials to influence results in 2004-05 season.

Juventus were stripped of their 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles and demoted to Serie B.

AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, Reggina and Arezzo suffered points deductions because of their involvement in the scandal.

Juventus achieved immediate promotion from the second tier and returned to the Champions League this season after a third-place finish in Serie A last term, having managed to retain a loyal fan base and some of their best players.

It scandal, which stunned the football world, revolved around transcripts of phone taps which appeared to show key figures in Italian football putting pressure on referees to favour certain clubs.

The allegations were uncovered as prosecutors investigated doping allegations at Juventus, Italy's most popular and successful club.

That separate inquiry resulted in club doctor Riccardo Agricola being found guilty of administering drugs to players in the mid-90s.

Moggi is also one of six men accused of fostering unfair competition through the use of threats or violence as part of Italy's GEA World sports agency in a separate trial in Rome.

Moggi's son Alessandro and Davide Lippi, the son of Italy coach Marcello, are among the defendants.

Source: Reuters

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