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Juventus chief Agnelli ‘didn’t know’ about Luis Suarez’s ‘farce’ Italian citizenship exam before failed transfer


JUVENTUS president Andrea Agnelli has insisted he knew nothing of a plot to aid Luis Suarez’s transfer by cheating on a citizenship test.

Italian prosecutors are investigating the Serie A club after finding that the striker, 34, already knew the answers to an exam he sat in September.

Andrea Agnelli's evidence in the Luis Suarez exam fiasco has been revealed

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Andrea Agnelli’s evidence in the Luis Suarez exam fiasco has been revealedCredit: AFP

It was deemed necessary for the player to gain citizenship after it emerged he was not an EU citizen and therefore did not fit into Juve squad quotas.

The transfer collapsed and Suarez later signed for Atletico Madrid.

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The issue has not gone away for Juventus amid an investigation into what exactly went on when he arrived at University of Perugia for the exam.

A handful of staff members from the university were suspended in December after it was found that the answers had been passed on before the test.

And a number of Juventus chiefs have since given evidence, with club president Agnelli’s testimony revealed by Corriere della Sera.

The Italian, 45, is said to have claimed that he knew nothing of the test and that in charge of the deal was managing director Fabio Paratici, who denies any wrongdoing.

He is quoted as saying: “Paratici has ample delegation within the limits of the assigned budget.

“He is responsible for the club’s choices in relation to the recruitment of the players. Of course, he informs me occasionally and casually.”

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Suarez took the citizenship test on September 17 and was later found to have cheated

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Suarez took the citizenship test on September 17 and was later found to have cheatedCredit: EPA

Agnelli reportedly detailed a text message from Suarez to vice-chairman Pavel Nedved to signify the player’s desire for a move from Barcelona.

He added: “I remember that during a lunch held at the end of August, Nedved told me that the Barcelona player had proposed moving to Juventus via text message.

“At that time, negotiations were underway for [Edin] Dzeko, [Arkadiusz] Milik, [Edinson] Cavani and [Alvaro] Morata, who was later signed, in addition to the hypothesis relating to Suarez.

“At the beginning of September I was informed that Suarez’s move was difficult because it turned out that he did not have EU citizenship.”

Agnelli then asserted that he had learned of the test fiasco ‘from the newspapers’ before wishing Suarez well when the deal collapsed.

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However, investigators highlighted an email from the time of the deal, which Agnelli confirmed that he had received.

Agnelli said: “I don’t remember that mail.

“However, I do not deal with the contractual conditions as the negotiations are overseen by the sports department within the limits of the budget.

I don’t remember if I was informed about the exam. I knew about it from the newspapers.

Andrea Agnelli

“I have checked now and found that the email had been sent, however I still do not remember receiving it.

“I don’t remember if I was informed about the exam. I knew about it from the newspapers and I remember I called the player once to thank him for his interest.”

The report outlines how the Juventus chief’s evidence may not line up with the recollection of former club manager Maurizio Lombardo, who insisted that Paratici told him to contact Agnelli before the exam.

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He stated in his evidence: “The president never replied to my email, but Paratici told me he’d spoken to him and I could proceed in dealing with [Suarez’s lawyer, Ivan] Zaldua.”

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