FIFA’s Juventus sanctions: what could they mean for LaLiga leaders Barcelona?
FIFA has so far not got involved in the ‘Negreira scandal’ but may now be more likely to do so after punishing Juventus.
Barcelona, be warned. The sanctions imposed on Juventus by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) for the ‘fake’ capital gains scandal will apply worldwide, FIFA confirmed earlier on Wednesday to UK-based broadcaster Sky Sports News: “FIFA have confirmed that - following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC) - the Chairperson of FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect.” Among those punished are former Juventus president Andrea Agnelli (two-year ban), ex-vice president Pavel Nedved (eight-month ban), and former CEO Maurizio Arrivabene (two-year ban). All three have left the club, but the man who will face the most severe punishment is the one who is still active in the sport (albeit elsewhere): Tottenham Hotspur sporting director Fabio Paratici.
How long will Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici be banned for?
Paratici previously held the same position at Juventus but is now facing an extended ban of 30 months (two-and-a-half years), during which time he will not be able to carry out “any activities within the FIGC nor represent the club at federal level, regardless of the work being undertaken, which extends to FIFA and UEFA”. This means the Italian will be unable to participate in meetings with agents and players, or access the players’ area during matches.
How could Barcelona be affected?
The sanctions imposed by FIFA could set alarm bells ringing for Barcelona, who are waiting to discover if they will be punished by world soccer’s governing body following the revelations surrounding the ‘Negreira scandal’. Until now, only UEFA have opened an investigation into the case. FIFA has chosen to keep quiet so far but could follow suit and has the power to sanction clubs that have taken part in some form of financial malpractice, as is allegedly the case with Juventus and Barcelona. LaLiga has warned that if the Spanish Soccer Federation does not report the ‘Negreira scandal’ to FIFA, then their chairman Javier Tebas will do so instead.
Should FIFA ultimately decide to punish the Catalan giants, their code of ethics states that they reserve the right to “investigate, prosecute and sanction serious infractions that fall within the scope of application of this code and in the jurisdiction of the confederations, federations or other sports organisations if they consider it appropriate in a specific case, in particular if the confederation, federation or sports organisation does not prosecute a serious infringement within a period of three months from the moment the infringement becomes known to the Disciplinary Commission”.
What next for Juventus?
Juventus, meanwhile, will continue their battle to prove their innocence in court. On 19 April, the College of Guarantee of Sport (the last rank of sports justice in Italy) will give their final verdict on the 15-point penalty they were given. On 10 May, the second preliminary hearing in the Prisma investigation will take place in Turin and, in the new few months, new sporting procedures will begin which will investigate salary postponements and operations with others Serie A clubs.