ROME: Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has been banned for one year by the Italian football federation for his role in selling tickets to ‘ultra’ fans accused of ticket touting writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The ban creates a leadership and image dilemma for the European Club Association whose 200-plus members elected him as new chairman in succession to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge only three weeks ago.

Agnelli’s ECA status earned him one of the organisation’s two seats on the executive committee of European federation UEFA.

His ban is domestic only and has not been extended to UEFA or FIFA though the international federations have absolutely no need of further taints to their images of their committees after the scandals of recent years in the corridors of power.

The FIGC disciplinary body also fined Juventus €300,000 but federation prosecutor Giuseppe Pecoraro has indicated he will appeal for harsher sentences. Pecoraro had deanded requested a two and a half year suspension for Agnelli plus a fine and an order to force Juventus to play two home matches behind closed doors.

Juventus also intends to appeal.

The club said:  “Having taken note of today’s decision by the FIGC’s national tribunal, Juventus announces its appeal to the FIGC Court of Appeal in the full conviction of its own good arguments, which have not been adequate recognised.

“The club expresses its own satisfaction because today’s sentence, even though it inflicted heavy bans on the president and other people involved, has after extensive evaluation of the evidence, excluded all alleged links with representatives of organized crime.”

Jail sentences

Agnelli can remain as Juventus president but cannot represent the club on any official league issue, enter the dressing room during matches or be involved directly in transfer dealings.

Allegedly he authorised the sale of season passes and other tickets. He has acknowledged meeting with Rocco Dominello, an “ultra” fan linked to the Calabrian ’ndrangheta crime mob who has since been sentenced to nearly eight years in prison for touting.

Dominello’s father, Saverio Dominello, was sentenced to 12 years in prison by a court in Turin in June for his role in the scalping case.

Agnelli said the meetings came only with large numbers of other fans at celebratory occasions and that the club never intended to engage in illegal activity.

Juventus security director Alessandro D’Angelo has been banned for 15 months while ticketing director Stefano Merulla and former marketing director Francesco Calvo have also been handed one-year suspensions.

Each of the four has also been fined €20,000 for violating sporting integrity and illicit relations with fans.

Agnelli, 41, has led Juventus, the club his family has owned for nearly a century, since 2010.