ROME: Italian football is at the centre of yet another major scandal after the police fraud squad have raided the offices of 41 clubs across Serie A, Serie B and Lega Pro.
The raids, by the Guarda di Finanza, were undertaken as part of an investigation into alleged offences including money laundering and tax evasion.
Documents seized included contracts between players, at least 12 agents and clubs including champions Juventus, Napoli, AC Milan, Internazonale, Lazio and Roma.
Bologna and Cagliari were the only two out of 20 Serie A clubs not targeted by the Naples prosecutors’ office which is seeking international police co-operation concerning the involvement of several foreign clubs.
The 18 Serie A clubs raided (including some relegated at the end of the last season) were: Atalanta, Catania, Chievo, Fiorentina, Genoa, Inter, Juventus, Lazio, Milan, Napoli, Palermo, Parma, Pescara, Roma, Sampdoria, Siena, Torino and Udinese.
Some 11 Serie B league clubs and 12 from Lega Pro also had their offices raided and searched and documents confiscated.
A prosecutors’ statement said that the clubs involved in the searches were under investigation for alleged conspiracy to avoid payment of “huge amounts of money” to tax authorities during the transfer of players.
Italian football has been under virtual scandal siege ever since 2006 when police uncovered a major match-fixing operation involving Juventus,Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina, top referees and Juve executive Luciano Moggi.
Juventus, who were Serie A champions, were relegated to the second division for the first time in their history, and were stripped of the 2005 and 2006 titles.
Attendances and sponsor investment in Calcio has dipped in the succeeding years which have been blighted by a series of matchfixing scandals and ongoing hooligan violence.
His son Alessandro is one of the agents under investigation along with Alejandro Mazzoni. Both men had their offices raided earlier this year.
Dozens of coaches and players have been punished for manipulating matches, many on behalf of betting rings operating out of south-eastAsia.