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Former Juventus exec sentenced to 18 months in player agency case

FORMER Juventus executive Luciano Moggi received an 18-month suspended jail sentence yesterday for illegal activity involving the now defunct player agency GEA, local news agencies reported.

Moggi, the central figure in the Italian match-fixing scandal, allegedly influenced player moves involving GEA, which was run by his son, Alessandro Moggi.

Alessandro Moggi received a 14-month suspended sentence, the ANSA and Apcom news agencies reported.

"In the end, they absolved GEA and condemned the Moggis. It's shameful," Luciano Moggi told ANSA after the verdict. "These accusations won't hold up on appeal."

Prosecutors were seeking a six-year sentence for Luciano Moggi and five years for his son.

"I respect the sentence but I am awaiting the (reasons behind the ruling)," prosecutor Luca Palamara said, according to Apcom.

Sentences below two years are suspended in Italy. In this case, the acts also date back to before May 2006 and are therefore covered by an amnesty.

"I'm upset. I didn't do anything," Alessandro Moggi said.

Luciano Moggi was banned from football for five years by a sports court in 2006 for influencing the outcome of matches. He denies any wrongdoing.

"I expected this sentence. I'm just sorry for my son Alessandro, he's young," Luciano Moggi said, adding that he would score a "golden goal" on appeal.

GEA's former CEO Francesco Zavaglia and agent Davide Lippi, the son of Italy coach Marcello Lippi, were both cleared.

Luciano Moggi has also been ordered to stand trial on charges of sports fraud and criminal association in another case that opens Jan. 20 in Naples.

As a result of the Italian match-fixing scandal, Juventus was stripped of its 2005 and '06 Serie A titles and relegated to the second division with a nine-point penalty. It immediately won promotion back to Serie A.

The scandal, which broke in 2006, was the most widespread corruption case in the history of Italy's biggest sport. Besides Juventus, three other big clubs -- AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina -- were punished, as were Reggina and Arezzo.


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