It’s been five years since Calciopoli, yet the furor over the infamous scandal shows no sign of dying down. But why? If Juventus were guilty and properly punished, shouldn’t we move on? This piece addresses a few basic points of why Juventini should feel wronged about the events during that turbulent Summer, and how the scandal has developed in the years since.
Calciopoli broke out in early 2006, alleging that former Juve Director General Luciano Moggi had been involved in match-fixing leveraging improper influence among the refereeing designators to obtain favorable match conditions. The FIGC introduced considerable amounts of wiretaps (conducted by Telecom Italia, called illegal by some, including ex-Inter soccer player Christian Vieri and Serie A referee Massimo De Santis) involving Luciano Moggi and the two refereeing designators, Pierluigi Pairetto and Paolo Bergamo. There were several clubs implicated in the scandal, including AC Milan, Fiorentina, and Lazio.
Juventus were essentially convicted of having an “exclusive” (important word) relationship with the refereeing designators. Crucially, the FIGC never actually proved (or was never able to) that any direct match-fixing happened: the official documents state that Juventus “conditioned the league table”, while later pointing out that “no match result” involving Juventus was actually altered due to Moggi’s influence. The stories that flew out in this time alleged a massive conspiracy, with Luciano Moggi controlling the entire league from the background due to his exclusive relationship with the refereeing designators. For example, a famous story involved Moggi locking a referee (Gianluca Paparesta) in a bathroom after Reggina-Juventus, which had ended unfavorably for the Bianconeri. This story has since then been proven completely false, yet shows the anti-Juventus climate prevailing at the time.
The official documents never directly charge Juventus with an Article 6 violation, which involves match-fixing. The same official documents from the scandal in 2006 state “there was no Moggi conspiracy”. Ironically at the time, speaking with the refereeing designators was not only legal, it was encouraged (as a way for each club to be able to voice its grievances)! However, the main charge was that Juventus maintained a “systematic influence over the refereeing designators”. The refereeing designators maintained all along that they had open communication with all team presidents, though Inter President Facchetti and Massimo Moratti repeatedly denied ever having contact with the refereeing designators.
The evidence simply wasn’t there in 2006 to relegate Juventus: no witnesses were allowed, no wiretaps were introduced (only their transcriptions) and Juventus were given only a short time to prepare their defense when the entire CdA resigned. The stories that have broken out since have only further cast doubt on the decision-making of the FIGC. It bears note that there is a massive conflict-of-interest in the court’s decision to relegate Juventus and strip the club of their titles: Telecom Italia, the team that conducted the wiretaps, was run by a CEO who had been on Inter’s Board of Directors (CdA) for over a decade. Guido Rossi, the three-month long FIGC President given extraordinary powers for the scandal, was also on Inter’s Board of Directors for a significant period of time. Curiously, not even a year after the scandal, Telecom Italia’s CEO had resigned his position and became President of Pirelli, long-term Inter sponsors. And just who replaced him as Telecom Italia’s CEO? Guido Rossi!
So what has happened since then? Juventus pretty much rolled over and, until Andrea Agnelli became President of Juventus, did not appeal nor investigate the scandal. Luciano Moggi however was under several personal charges, and decided to fight them. Since then, some bombshell revelations have come out.
Key prosecution witness Attilio Auricchio was interviewed in Moggi’s trial down in Naples, and stated that “key evidence that had been used to relegate Juventus had been lost”. When asked where the evidence had gone, he repeatedly commented “I don’t remember“. Auricchio, a former policeman implicated in electoral tampering years ago in Rome, had no answers to why the prosecution chose to omit nearly 120,000 wiretaps, only introducing 60,000. Moggi’s defense team had been pouring through these additional wiretaps, and Facchetti, Moratti, and Milan CEO Galliani all are caught involved in significant discussions with the referee designators, including ones revealing that the two referee designators had had dinner at Facchetti’s house.
In one recording, they confirm a dinner appointment the night before a controversial 2-0 Inter win over Livorno. In another, referee designator Bergamo states “I just got off the phone with Moratti and he wants to have dinner with me and Facchetti about the referee situation“. So not only is there crucial evidence used against Juventus missing, but Facchetti, Galliani, and Moratti are all caught speaking with referee designators themselves (despite claiming they never spoke to them)! Ergo, the so-called “exclusive relationship” Moggi had with the latter could not have been so terribly exclusive!
When cross-examined by Moggi’s team, Auricchio admitted he was aware of Facchetti meeting privately with Bergamo, yet states “the call where Facchetti asks Collina about the referee grid with Bergamo was transcripted, but we thought it was not important“. Facchetti was also revealed to have information about the referees before it was publicly available.
Juventus officially requested that the FIGC re-open the case last year, and the FIGC acquiesced. Coincidentally, the FIGC was able to revisit Luciano Moggi’s case (separate from his civil court case in Naples) and issue him a lifetime ban only months before his 5-year ban was due to expire, yet was unable to do a full investigation into Calciopoli until after Inter’s Scudetto had been enshrined in a statute of limitations. Chief Prosecutor for the FIGC Stefano Palazzi slammed Inter in a statement, stating that Facchetti and Inter were likely guilty of Article 6 match fixing violations (which as noted above, were never actually charged against Juventus) and Massimo Moratti guilty of Article 1 violations, which is what Juventus were convicted of. The President of the FIGC stated he wished he was able to conduct a full investigation, but Inter would have to agree to waive their “prescrizione” (statute of limitations) status which guaranteed the FIGC’s inability to act. Unsurprisingly, Inter did not waive that status and the FIGC decided “not to decide”. They announced they would not revoke Inter’s 2006 Scudetto, as they “didn’t have the ability to do so“.
Thankfully, Andrea Agnelli is not taking this lying down like the disastrous Triade of Secco, Blanc, and Cobolli-Gigli decided to do. During the introduction of the 2011-2012 kits, he demanded action from the FIGC and with their “decision to not decide” announced that Juventus are considering all forms of legal action, sporting and civil, to obtain justice.
The outcome of today’s Federal Council confirms the absolute treatment inequality in the event of similar circumstances. The petition submitted 14 months ago by Juventus allowed for a deep examination, unfortunately not followed by any acceptance of responsibility by the sports bodies involved, who instead dismissed their political role as governance. It is understood that, in order to protect their millions of fans, as well as the shareholders and employees, Juventus must pursue the right and proper verification of facts while looking for treatment equality.
Therefore, the Club’s lawyers have been given the mandate to identify the best protection instruments in the administrative and international law. Management and lawyers are simultaneously proceeding with the assessment of the economic damages caused by such behaviours. Since today’s decision is far from providing equality and justice, Juventus want to assert all the internationally applicable rules at every relevant office.
Five years after Calciopoli first erupted, the “Moggi system” has been thoroughly debunked. Conflict of interests involving Inter CdA members cannot be left unchecked, nor can the omission of certain evidence or the “loss” of evidence used to convict Juventus back in 2006. Should Inter have been relegated back in 2006? Probably not, though Palazzi accused them of match-fixing. But what is certainly true: there was systematic discrimination against Juventus back in 2006. While it is unlikely we will ever get those Scudetti back, or the hundreds of millions of euros in lost revenue, or all of those years… justice must be pursued!
Luckily, with Moggi pursuing his own case and Andrea Agnelli on the task, it is unlikely that this story will quietly fade into the background.