Luca Ferrato

They  thought it was all over, but after four years, two Serie A titles overturned, and the historic relegation of Juventus to Serie B, the Calciopoli process has surprisingly re-emerged.

The latest episode began when Luciano Moggi’s lawyers decided to play back some of the telephone recordings from the Calciopoli scandal. Four years ago there were six clubs involved: Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina in Serie A and Arezzo in Serie B. All the teams, to varying degrees, were punished, and club officials and referees condemned for irregularities. Juventus were practically destroyed by the scandal, the lingering effects of which are still felt by the Old Lady today, with a team which can only struggle to gain a place in Europe.

Now Moggi’s lawyers have discovered that there were other phone taps not considered in the first investigation and are trying to push the line that “if everyone is guilty then nobody is guilty”. This is a mentality all too often part of the Italian way of life, especially in recent times when there has been the erosion of many traditional values.

The lawyers involved noted that Giacinto Facchetti (at that time the president of Internazionale) spoke on 31 occasions with Paolo Bergamo and Pierluigi Pairetto (the duo in charge of referees) on the phone. Inter supremo Massimo Moratti called the pair three times, but in 2006 the investigators in charge believed the phone taps were not relevant for the investigation process. The two Interisti had talked about referees, but not in the manner or indeed with the brutality that Juventus supremo Moggi himself had used every time.

There are also taps involving Massimo Cellino the Cagliari president, Luciano Spalletti and Rino Foschi, sporting manager of Bologna. All conversations were related to referees they did and not favour to take charge of matches involving their teams.

In the tangled web other taps related to AC Milan’s Adriano Galliani surfaced and a situation where most presidents of Serie A clubs spoke to Bergamo and Pairetto, and sometimes directly with referees, by phone is becoming clearer. In some cases calls were made just 10 minutes before a match was due to start.

In 2006 most Italian fans, apart from those of Inter, were furious that Guido Rossi (appointed interim president of the Italian FA – FIGC – and former Inter board member) chose to award the 2005/06 Scudetto to the Nerazzurri, because Juventus and Milan, who were found to have cheated, finished first and second that season, to Inter’s third. Now however there exists the possibility that the new phone taps will be included in the case against Moggi and impact the decision Rossi made.

Juventus fans especially have become annoyed and recently unfurled a banner at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin that stated: “After Moggiopoli a new era: 2006-2010 Morattopoli. Juventus supporters then decided to send a delegation to the Calciopoli process taking place in Naples, to follow the situation and give support to Moggi.

Over at the San Siro, for Inter’s part, Gianfelice Facchetti – the son of Giacinto – became angry too. Shocked about a lack of respect shown to his father, Gianfelice asked president Moratti to hand back 2006’s Scudetto, arguing the Nerazzurri did not need the victory and to choose to give it back would be a sign of class. Moratti however refused Gianfelice’s appeal and accusations surrounding Inter’s role in the Calciopoli scandal have continued to grow. Many of the Inter faithful believe the 2006 title must be kept to serve as reparation for the many offences committed by Moggi’s Juventus.

What Moggi’s lawyers ultimately want is to try and paint a picture of a corrupt football world, one in which there were no angels, only differing types of devils.

Inter themselves had celebrated that victory as “lo Scudetto degli Onesti” – the championship of the honest people – and claimed a new era of purity had commenced in Italian football. In 2006/07, Milan began their campaign on minus eight points, Lazio with minus three, minus 15 for Fiorentina and minus 11 for Reggina. In the end Inter won the title easily (their first for 17 years) by 22 points over runners-up Roma.

Juventus meanwhile began in Serie B, with a new board and nine points deducted. The Old Lady easily regained her Serie A status by May, but since then have never been genuine contenders for the title again.

Today, in Italy, many fans are bored with the Calciopoli scandal and just want a quick and definitive conclusion to the process.

The affair restarts on Tuesday 20th April, in Naples, and there will certainly be many twists and turns to come, with more than one or two new surprises. In any case, it can be wagered with some certainty that Luciano Moggi will be at the centre of Italian football once again in 2011 (when his suspension ends), if that is, he was really ever out of it.


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