Definition of Calciopoli


A few months before they lifted the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Italy was rocked by a scandal involving some of the biggest names in national football.

The scandal revolved around phone intercepts by the Italian police revealing a murky nexus between team managers, officials and referees. Signs of a "Calciopoli" or "Italian Football Scandal" first appeared during the 2004-05 Serie A season when prosecutors began investigating transcripts of telephonic conversations published in local newspapers . The main protagonists of these conversations were general managers of Juventus - Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo on one hand and top Italian football officials on the other. The objective was to select "favorable" referees to influence the outcome of matches in the 2004-05 season, in other words "match-fixing". Juventus was not the only club implicated in the "Calciopoli". AC Milan, Lazio, Fiorentina and Reggina are some of the other big names involved.

Prosecutors investigated Moggi and Giraudo on allegations of "locking up" referee Gianluca Paparesta and two assistants after a Juventus loss of 1-2 to Regina. Transcripts published in local dailies reveal Moggi's conversations with Pierluiggi Pairetto, Vice-Chairman of UEFA Referees' Commission, where pressure was put on the latter to select a referee who would be favorable to Juventus.

Skeletons were tumbling out of Luciano Moggi's cupboard thick and fast. Separate investigations in Naples took place where Moggi's son, Allessandro, allegedly ran an illegal gambling operation through a management company operated by him.

Moggi narrowly missed being prosecuted in the mid-90s for allegedly entertaining referees with call-girls and on charges of falsifying accounts. But despite the stigma surrounding him, he went on to become the most powerful and influential figure in Italian football and a virtual "Godfather" of the transfer market.

After having investigated 41 individuals and 19 Serie A matches spanning cities from Naples to Turin, the inevitable outcome was penalties handed out to clubs and officials on a scale unprecedented in European football.


Juventus: (1) Relegation to Serie B. (2) Deduction of 30 points for next season. (3) Serie A titles of 2005 and 2006 stripped away. (4) Out of the 2006-07 Champions League (5) Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo handed 5-year bans.

AC Milan: (1) Relegation to Serie B. (2) Deduction of 15 points for next season. (3) Out of the 2006-07 Champions League (4) Vice-President Adriano Galliani and club official Leonardo Meani faced 3-year and 6-month bans respectively.

Fiorentina: (1) Relegation to Serie B. (2) Deduction of 12 points for next season. (3) Out of the 2006-07 Champions League (4) President Andrea Della handed a three-and-a-half-year ban.(5) Ban of 4 years for honorary president Diego Della Valle.

Lazio: (1) Relegation to Serie B. (2) Deduction of 7 points for next season. (3) Out of the 2006-07 UEFA Cup. (4) President Claudio Lotito faced a 3-year ban.

The relegation of its prime rivals helped club Internazionale dominate Serie A seasons post 2006 in a big way. It was only in the 2011-12 season that saw Juventus return to prominence.

For fans of Italian football, "Calciopoli" is something they would like to forget.