CALCIOPOLI – THE AFTERMATH
It’s been a while since anything significant regarding the scandal was written in English. After the explosion in the spring of 2006 it seems as though the “biggest scandal in Italian football history” has been inactive. That is at least, what the press and the powers that be will have you believe. The truth is that plenty has happened in the last three and a half years, it is just found on page 18 of 19 in the lower right hand corner of some random paper now as opposed to front page media hysterics.
Since the press concluded its smear campaign complete with misleading titles and really big pictures of Moggi on his phone in the fall of 2006 with a “mission accomplished” attitude, they have simply ignored all that has happened since. The years however, have been very eventful.
I could write about the violations of constitutional rights during the proceedings. I could write about the recordings and how they only confirmed that Juve was incapable of cheating (unlike certain other clubs caught red handed on the same recordings).
I could write about the rule restructuring done by the tribunal in order to justify an unnecessary relegation. I could write about who the commissioner was for the tribunal and how he was an ex Inter director. I could write about the wire taps themselves and how they were generated illegally by the same company that is currently in court fighting charges of illegal espionage and evidence tampering after one of their own (Tavaroli) agreed to co-operate with prosecutors. The same company that coincidentally also sponsors the very league and therefore tribunal that Juventus play in and had to defend themselves against. Imagine reading a verdict that states that you are not guilty but we’re going to punish you anyway. Why bother though?
We know all this shit by now…or at least we should. It’s been written about and what’s more, it’s been confirmed. Few people now actually dispute these things because over time, the dust settled and the truth began slowly surfacing. The only people clinging to these unfounded accusations now are those desperate to believe it. Thankfully, real judges in real civil courts have been confirming what many of us knew all along. Calciopoli was a sham.
The accusations were initially three pronged. The accusations stated that Luciano Moggi basically sat in the middle of a multi spoke wheel where players, agents, referees, directors, etc. all sat on the rim. If you wanted to operate in Italy…you would need the blessing of Lucky Luciano.
Accusation #1: He controlled the referees directly through an International SIM card system that allowed him to communicate directly with referees in a network that could not be heard by anyone else.
Accusation #2: He controlled the referees indirectly through the referee designers who assigned referees for matches at his request.
Accusation #3: He controlled GEA, the player agency that controlled many players and coaches throughout Italy and therefore monopolized the player market.
There were hundreds of other smaller accusations but all somehow tie in to the main three. Little by little, all these were beaten to the ground. This is what the press won’t write about and what needs to surface in order for people to understand just how authentic Juventus’ 29 league titles are.
The first main accusation was dismantled in the sporting tribunal itself. The judges actually declared that the random selection process utilized in Italy could not have been compromised. This didn’t keep people from believing that he hand picked referees but those interested in reading the verdict are all in the know. He couldn’t have done so even if he wanted (unless it was a friendly). Finally the referee designers (Bergamo & Pairetto) were eventually absolved of any wrong doing. If Moggi controlling the referees through the designers was a valid argument, it ceased to be that the moment the designers walked.
The second accusation regarding the SIM card claim was the first Moggi victory on appeal post-Calciopoli. It was very technical. Moggi’s lawyers simply demonstrated the flaws in the accusations in a very mathematical manner by utilizing third party telecommunications technicians and the judge had little choice but to overturn the verdict on appeal.
The third accusation regarding the GEA Agency was a long and frankly funny process of systematically destroying nearly every witness the prosecution brought forth. Many players and coaches (past and present) testified for and against Moggi. Amazingly, many of those who would testify against Moggi and his son would find themselves in hot water soon after for contradicting written testimonies. Eventually Moggi and the rest of GEA walked having demonstrated that there was literally nothing illegal at GEA and that Moggi Sr. had nothing to do with the agency beyond buying/selling some of their players (like everyone else).
So if he didn’t control the referee designers, and he didn’t control the referees, and he didn’t control the players/coaches…then how did Moggi control the league?
Moggi posed this question to a civil regional court in Lazio (TAR) where his appeal was rejected on the grounds that he controlled the league through psychological suggestion. This same court, which is presided by Pasquale De Lise of the same Sporting Tribunal that relegated Juve and suspended Moggi initially, had simultaneously overturned the verdicts on all other referees, designers, linesmen, etc. (with the exception of De Santis for a non Juve related matter).
In other words…Moggi (according to De Lise) psychologically convinced people to do what he wanted without them realizing he was doing it. This was how they justified rejecting Moggi’s appeal while overturning the appeals of his alleged partners in crime. Moggi was not only a hypnotist, he was a telepathic hypnotist who did not need to utilize the spoken word in order to get people to do what he wanted. If this were true I think that rather than suspending him, the country would do well to elect him Prime Minister. Needless to say…Moggi was going to appeal to a higher authority. Off to the Federal Court of Appeals where the fight rages on even today.
Moggi has listed several hundred witnesses and countless technicians that are all set to testify in his favor and demonstrate his innocence. The prosecutors have instead embarked on a long stalling tactic in the hopes of achieving a mistrial. In Italy, if an appeal does not conclude before the two year anniversary of the verdict, a mistrial is declared which would keep Moggi from counter suing on the grounds that in the end no new conclusion was reached. It seems fairly obvious that the prosecutors are on life support. It’s almost humorous to see that the defendant in this case is the aggressor while the prosecutors are retreating. Typically the opposite is the case.
A fourth accusation however has surfaced. When all else seemed to fail, an accusation regarding accounting fraud was brought to the table against the old triad. Some may recall that a little more than a year ago both Inter and Milan were caught red handed cooking their books along with a few other teams. They however, avoided punishment when it was determined that accounting fraud was not a punishable offense. Why then were Juve being investigated for it? In any case, on Monday the 16th of November 2009 the triad was again found not guilty.
It wasn’t all for nothing though. Luciano and his son managed to land themselves a suspended sentence charge for making offensive gestures in court about a year ago. I find that somewhat funny. When you add up all the accusations, a 6 to 10 year jail term would not be out of the question but having failed to prove a single accusation; Moggi came away with a slap on the wrist. That really drives home the point in my opinion.
By now it’s safe to say that Calciopoli had nothing to do with what people initially thought. It was a smear campaign in an effort to establish another team’s dominance both financial and competitive in Italy.
The big question I always hear is “when will Juve get her titles back?” There is no good answer for that. I do believe this however:
This summer TIM/Telecom’s sponsorship contracts for both the league and federation (worth 130 million euros 5 years ago) are up for renewal. Most know that Telecom is operated by Inter interests like Pirelli’s owners, ex Inter directors, and even the Moratti family directly. If the sponsorship is renewed…little will change for the next 5 years both on and off the field unless drastic court decisions outside the league force the federation’s hand. If another sponsor emerges this summer as the principle cash cow of Italian football, Calciopoli would likely be an overturned verdict in less than 12 months.
In the end it is all about who has money. Thankfully Telecom is up against the ropes with countless criminal charges that may hinder their ability to delve into outside interests. In the name of sport, we should all keep our fingers crossed. Enough with the conflicts of interest already.
This is also found in the Calciopoli group but I know that many here aren’t members there so I am posting it here for you guys as well.
I have no intentions whatsoever of engaging in useless debates with people in public forums over today’s sentence since I already know that no one will have done today what I have. I read through what occurred and have formulated an opinion based on more than a headline. Few others will have bothered.
I write here for the sake of informing friends.
Antonio Giraudo was sentenced to three years in prison today on the grounds of Association with Intent to Defraud. In a way this is what he asked for since he has been extremely lazy these last four years. While Moggi has spent every waking day defending himself, Giraudo took the accusations all too lightly and today paid for it. I doubt that he will now knowing that it will cost him three years of his life. Odds are he will appeal the verdict but at this point I have to ask what the point is.
The sentence itself (“Association with Intent to Defraud”) is largely unconstitutional in that it requires no proof (how could one prove ill will?). It emerged decades ago as a tactic to group undesirables (Communists, Organized Criminals, etc.) when all else failed. Today it was used as a means of achieving a desired sentence without the burden of proving a single illegal act.
Someone now is going to have to be very creative in explaining how fraud could not be committed or even attempted (according to the sporting tribunal), yet the intention of it still be a punishable offence. Is it illogical to assume that if an association with fraudulent intentions existed that it would at least have attempted it once at some point? Is it logical to assume that someone’s mere desire to commit an act be damaging in legal terms?
How it is possible that the “Association” does not legally exist according to the most recent Civil Court (GEA trial) yet people still investigated and condemned for being members of it is a mystery. How is it possible that the only case capable of reopening the “Association’s” existence (Moggi’s trial) is yet to conclude (which brings forth more and more evidence daily to refute the accusation) and still have people sentenced for its membership.
It is extremely important to note that today Giraudo was sentenced not for wrongdoing of any sort but for being a member of an undesirable “Association” that does not legally exist according to the judges that preside over Italy. How could someone be a member of something that the courts themselves determined never existed?
Today more than ever as an Italian citizen I am grateful that I live in Canada where a citizen’s right to a fair trial is still respected.
by: Giuseppe Solinas