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ITALY

World Cup winner Iaquinta handed two-year prison sentence for gun possession

World Cup winner Iaquinta handed two-year prison sentence for gun possession

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Vincenzo Iaquinta and his father have been handed prison sentences.

Former Italy and Juventus striker Vincenzo Iaquinta has been handed a two-year prison sentence for illegal gun possession, but accusations linking him with the notorious Calabrian mafia the 'Ndrangheta were dismissed by a judge. 

The former striker, who was a part of the Italy squad which won the 2006 World Cup, was found to be in possession of two guns and 126 bullets, which the court said he transferred to his father Giuseppe Iaquinta without informing authorities.

Giuseppe Iaquinta was later banned from owning firearms in 2012 due to alleged links with the 'Ndrangheta. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison on Wednesday for mafia association as part of a crackdown which has resulted in 160 arrests.

Iaquinta denies mafia links

Vincenzo Iaquinta is adamant his family have nothing to do with the mafia.

"The name 'Ndrangheta, we do not even know what it is in our family," he said outside the court. "It is not possible. They ruined my life for nothing, because I am Calabrian.

"I am suffering like a dog for my family and my children without having done anything, but I have won a World Cup and I am proud to be Calabrian.

"We have not done anything we have nothing to do with the 'Ndrangheta."

As per Italian law, the 38-year-old is allowed two appeals before the judge's verdict becomes final.

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