Juventus claim innocence after police confirm irregularities in Suarez citizenship test during failed transfer from Barcelona

19:56 EAT 04/12/2020
Luis Suarez Juventus
The Perugia Prosecutor's Office has confirmed the Serie A giants were 'activated to accelerate the recognition of Italian citizenship' for the forward

Juventus have claimed their innocence after it was confirmed the club's management is under further investigation by Italian police over the collapsed transfer of Luis Suarez from Barcelona.

The Serie A giants looked well-placed to sign the forward over the summer but the deal fell through.

Juve had already filled their quota of non-EU players in their squad so Suarez took a ‘B1’ citizenship test. Suarez’s wife, Sofia Balbi, has an Italian passport so passing the test would mean he did not take up a non-EU place in their squad, but in September it was alleged that it had been fixed.

It was alleged topics of the exam were agreed in advance, allowing for the result to essentially be predetermined.

Now the Perugia Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed the club was ‘activated, even at the highest institutional levels, to accelerate the recognition of Luis Suarez’s Italian citizenship’, and that more investigations are ongoing.

On Friday, Juventus released a statement saying the club was confident sporting director Fabio Paratici, who has been accused of providing "false information to the public prosecutors", had done nothing wrong and that the ongoing investigation “will help clarify his position within a reasonable time”.

Three members of staff at the University Giuliana Grego – CEO Simone Olivieri and professors Stefania Spina and Lorenzo Rocca – have been suspended for eight months ‘for the offence of disclosure of professional secrecy aimed at undue profit and multiple ideological falsehoods in public acts.’

The Prosecutor’s statement clarified: “It emerged that the contents of the test had been communicated in advance to the player, in order to arrive at a predetermined outcome and examination score to meet the requests that had been made by Juventus, with the aim of achieving a positive image return, both personal and for the University.

“Investigations have also allowed us to understand how, in the first days of September 2020, the management of the Turin club was activated, even at the highest institutional levels, to accelerate recognition of Italian citizenship of Suarez.

“This suggests new hypotheses of crime against persons other than those belonging to the university, still in the process of study.”

Suarez eventually signed for Atletico Madrid, from whom Juventus re-signed Spain international forward Alvaro Morata.