Since the recent news that confirmed the sporting fraud charges against players and coaches, a negative buzz started to roam around Montreal when Marco Di Vaio's name popped up. Talks of Marco Di Vaio being suspended spread like wildfire and I found important to look into the facts of what is happening in Italy: no speculation, no rumors, just the right information from the right source.
I had the chance to interview a Serie A and Italian football specialist: Thierry Cros on Soccer Sans Frontieres (Soccer Without Borders). He collaborates in different media in Europe, including TF1 Sport, Eurosport and RMC Sport. He is a renowned French sports journalist/reporter and is stationed in Rome, Italy and you can follow him @tcros .
The interview was in French so I will talk about the main points (after the jump) and you can also listen to the show, by clicking on one of the listening options that you will also find after the jump.
What is Calcioscommesse exactly ?
Calcioscommesse is an investigation that started off at 2 different parquet (legal term for office of prosecution) at Bari and Cremone. It has branched out since into the Napoli and Genoa parquets, both legal offices taking over another phase in the sports fraud investigation.
It was discovered that a few professional soccer games in Italy , including Serie A/B and Lega Pro, were fixed under the influence of organized crime, particularly from Eastern Europe. Members of organized crime would have contacted some players for the leagues previously mentioned towards fixing game results. The findings of the different prosecution offices have been relayed to sports justice authorities, particularly to the federal prosecutor: Stefano Palazzi, the Italian Football Federation's prosecutor. In parallel, an inquest is being prepared but at this point only the sports investigation is ongoing.
Latest News about the Sports Investigation
The latest news that created a buzz around the world was: 13 clubs and 44 individuals (licensed players and coaches), including Antonio Conte the Juventus coach, were brought Thursday by the disciplinary committee and the prosecutor of the Italian Federation (FIGC). It is important to note that we are only talking about sporting disciplinary committee, not civil.
If Stefano Palazzi's name is familiar, it's due to the fact that he was the prosecutor for the 2006 Italian Football scandal: CalcioPoli. The current trial and call-ups is the 2nd one of its kinds in the Calcioscommesse of 2012 and we can expect a third one that will implicate other clubs and players.
The investigation comes at a bad time as Serie A and Italian football/soccer was regaining its shine of its previous golden years. The reputation of Serie A might be hindered by fans and potential players coming in to the league.
Sanctions and Chronology of events
Different important names have been mentioned including Leonardo Bonucci, Antonio Conte and Marco Di Vaio. If we talk players, we must talk about possible suspensions and how it works.
A new ruling in Italy states that sanctions must be ''affligeantes'' (french word). '' Affligeant '' can be translated into English as distressing but the meaning will make more sense via an example.
Let's say that a club receives a 10-point sanction resulting of the sports investigation. That sanction must have a negative effect on the club. If the sanction does not change the club's situation (loss of Champions League spot for e.g.) , the sanction will apply the next season. In this example, the club will start with -10 points in the 2012-2013.
Chronology of recent events and what's to come:
- Thursday 26-07-2012: FIGC called up names and clubs to be interviewed during the sports tribunal.
- Trial starts next week and will last 4 days.
- First sentencing is expected between the 10th and 11th of August 2012.
- Followed by the appeals.
Marco Di Vaio
Marco Di Vaio was on the list of players provided by the FIGC as part of the investigation and might (should) be present at Rome. (absence and how will it affect his playing time with the Montreal Impact has not been determined).
He has been accused of non-denunciation of attempted match rigging, that he did not participate in. The rigged game in question was the game between Bologna and Bari on May 22nd 2011.
A Bologna player, Daniele Portanova, allegedly tried to rigg the game and supposedly told Marco Di Vaio, something that Impact's DP did not denunciate, which is an offense in the sports legal system in Italy. Antonio Conte, Juventus head coach, is accused of the same when he was Sienna's head coach.
There are two types/level of sanctions for players in this sports trial:
- Non-denunciation of attempted match rigging: One knows about the game being fixed and not telling the proper authorities.
- A more severe level : having concretely participated in the attempt of match fixing. This case applies to Daniele Portanova. Leonardo Bonucci is also accused of the same.
It is pretty straight forward if found guilty: 4-8 months of suspension.