In a fresh wave of controversy to sweep over Italian football, former Juventus chairman, Andrea Agnelli, has been served a 16-month ban by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC). The decision was handed down yesterday, in relation to allegations that Juventus misled the public about player wage forfeitures during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Agnelli, who turned down a plea bargain that saw the Serie A club escape with a €700,000 fine in May, has been found guilty by FIGC’s disciplinary tribunal. The conviction came following his resignation as chairman, along with the entire board of directors, late last year.
This marks the second significant ban for Agnelli in under twelve months. He was previously barred from participating in Italian football for two years after Juventus was caught artificially boosting its balance sheet through dubious transfer activities. Following an appeal round, Juventus was docked 10 points, a punishment that was part of an extensive investigation into claims of false accounting and transfer trickery that shook the foundation of Italian football.
The tribunal’s decision centers on the club’s communication that players were voluntarily sacrificing their salaries during the 2020 pandemic. Meanwhile, it was privately assured to the players that they would only be forfeiting a fraction of the publicly announced amount.
As a consequence of the scandal-ridden season, Massimiliano Allegri’s team, a pillar in Serie A, ended in seventh place. This placement secured them a position in the next season’s Europa Conference League, yet there is a looming possibility of a ban from European football by the continental governing body.
Adding to the growing complexities of the situation, Juventus faces separate criminal proceedings related to the scandal. Current and former crucial figures of the club, including Agnelli, could potentially face trial.
Italian news agencies have announced that a court hearing, scheduled for October 26, will establish if the possible trial will take place in Turin, where the investigation is currently based, or be relocated to Milan or Rome.
This news is based on the malaymail.com article.