Prosecutor seeking 2 ½-year ban for Juve president Agnelli
ROME (AP) A 2 1/2-year ban is sought for Juventus president Andrea Agnelli for an allegedly illicit relationship with hard-core ”ultra” fans that encouraged ticket scalping.
The Italian football federation’s prosecutor made the request at a hearing on Friday, 10 days after Agnelli was elected to chair the 220-member European Club Association.
A federation panel has 10 days to decide on the punishment and then there is room for appeals.
The federation prosecutor, Giuseppe Pecoraro, also requested that Juventus be ordered to play two home matches behind closed doors, another game with the southern end of the stadium where the ultras sit shut, and a fine of 300,000 euros ($350,000).
Agnelli allegedly authorized the sale of season passes and other tickets above the permitted limit.
He has acknowledged meeting with Rocco Dominello, an ”ultra” fan linked to the Calabrian `ndrangheta crime mob who has since been sentenced to nearly eight years in prison for scalping.
But Agnelli said the meetings came only with large numbers of other fans at celebratory occasions and that the club never intended to engage in illegal activity.
”The prosecution is doing its job,” said Franco Coppi, Agnelli’s lawyer. ”We’re not used to making predictions over whether it will be one month or life. The important thing is to fight the prosecution’s accusations.”
Juventus ticketing director Stefano Merulla, Juventus security director Alessandro D’Angelo and the club’s former marketing director, Francesco Calvo, are also due to be judged in the case.
The alleged charges are violations of sporting integrity and illicit relations with fans.
The 41-year-old Agnelli has led Juventus, the club his family has owned for nearly a century, since 2010.
Agnelli has also been a non-voting member of UEFA’s executive committee since 2015. He is slated to receive full voting rights on Wednesday at a UEFA special congress in Geneva.
Pecoraro also requested that an eventual ban be extended to cover Agnelli’s position at UEFA.
Dominello’s father, Saverio Dominello, was sentenced to 12 years in prison by a court in Turin in June for his role in the scalping case.
Anti-mafia prosecutors alleged that the `ndrangheta were involved in scalping among Juventus ultra fans for at least 15 years, guaranteeing order in the stadium in exchange for open ticket access.
Juventus has denied any wrongdoing.
This story has been corrected to show the fine requested was 300,000 euros, not 300 million and to delete the incorrect statement that Agnelli could have to wait a decade before he can become Juventus’ president again.