The third episode on Netflix’s docuseries ‘Bad Sport,’ titled ‘Soccergate,’ takes the viewers into the intensely competitive world of club football in Italy. Juventus FC — a storied club that has seen great success and has been a dominating force in Europe for many years — was embroiled in a controversy in 2006, with its then sporting director, Luciano Moggi, at the center of it all. So, let’s find out what happened with Luciano and where he might be today, shall we?
Who is Luciano Moggi?
Luciano Moggi was born in Monticiano, Italy. Coming from a humble background, he worked as a caretaker at a local railway station before his foray into football. Luciano worked for various clubs within Serie A, building his profile, before landing the job with Juventus. He had a natural eye for talented players and had managed to sign some of the best footballers to have ever played the sport in Zinedine Zidane, Gianluigi Buffon, etc.
But through the 2005 club football season, an investigation into referees allegedly being influenced was carried out after the authorities were tipped off. They set up wiretaps on Paolo Bergamo and Pierluigi Pairetto, both in charge of the referees’ association. Also tapped was Luciano. Through thousands of phone calls, the authorities concluded that Luciano used his influence to pick referees he wanted for Juventus’ games and matches between other teams. He was also accused of using media to his advantage and in the late 1990s, he was accused of providing prostitutes to referees.
Among the many phone calls tapped by the authorities, a conversation between Pierluigi and Luciano showed them apparently deciding which referees should be sent to the upcoming Juventus matches on the schedule. According to a biographer, the referees agreed to it because they had no real choice, saying, “If they didn’t favor Juventus, they wouldn’t get picked to referee big games. If they displeased Moggi, they might lose their jobs.” But there was never any money that changed hands; it all worked on doling out favors. In a country where football was like a religion, the media influence also worked to Luciano’s advantage.
Where is Luciano Moggi Now?
The supposed “Moggi system” was put under scrutiny in the court of law, and Luciano was initially found guilty of criminal association in November 2011. He was sentenced to five years and four months behind bars. But the sentence was reduced to two years and four months on appeal in 2013 after an earlier charge of sporting fraud had passed the statute of limitations. Ultimately, Luciano didn’t serve any prison time. He was not absolved of the crimes, but the cases were archived as “expired.”
However, Luciano received a lifetime ban from being involved with football. Juventus was stripped of its 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles and was relegated to Serie B, a lower division. Other Serie A teams also faced the consequences as a result of this trial. In his 80s, Luciano now works as a journalist and pundit for Libero, an Italian newspaper. After the case expired in 2014, Luciano said, “It’s a process that has been carried forward in an abnormal way — it’s been a joke for nine years, and this isn’t a pleasant thing — which has ended in nothing.”
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