Andrea Agnelli, president of Italian Serie A football club Juventus, could face a two-and-a-half-year ban for allegedly forming relationships with the club’s ‘ultra’ fans that encouraged touting.
Agnelli allegedly approved the sale of season passes and other tickets above the allowable limit.
The Italian football federation’s prosecutor, Giuseppe Pecoraro, requested that Agnelli face the ban during a hearing, giving a panel just 10 days to decide on the punishment, with additional room for appeals.
The controversial request by the federation prosecutor comes only 10 days after the Juventus president was elected to chair the influential 220-member European Club Association.
In addition to the ban, Pecoraro has also pushed for Juventus to play two of its home games behind closed doors, with another game closed off to the ultras in the southern end, as well as a fine of €300,000 (£265,000/$360,000).
Agnelli has confirmed that he was in a meeting with Rocco Dominello, an ultra linked to the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta crime mob who has since been sentenced to nearly eight years in prison for scalping. The Juventus president claims that it was only with large numbers of other fans during celebrations, and stated that the club never intended to get involved in illegal activity.
“The prosecution is doing its job,” said Franco Coppi, Agnelli’s lawyer, according to ESPN. “We’re not used to making predictions over whether it will be one month or life. The important thing is to fight the prosecution’s accusations.”
Juventus ticketing director Stefano Merulla, Juventus security director Alessandro D’Angelo and the club’s former marketing director, Francesco Calvo, are also due to be judged in the case.
Agnelli has run the club since 2010, though his family has owned it for nearly a century. The 41-year-old is slated to become a full voting member of Uefa’s executive committee tomorrow (Wednesday).
The prosecutor also requested that the ban be extended to cover Agnelli’s position at Uefa.
Juventus have denied any wrongdoing.
Image: Simone Zappella