More details are emerging from the investigation into Luis Suarez’s Italian language exam. ‘He has to pass, we can’t ruin a €10m per season deal over this.’
The Barcelona striker flew to Perugia for the examination last week and was there for under an hour, which alerted some suspicion in the authorities.
That’s because this B1 language test usually takes over an hour to complete, with the written and spoken sections.
An investigation was launched by Colonel Selvaggio Sarri, who made clear Juventus are currently not accused of wrongdoing.
“A Serie A club asked for Suarez to sit the exam,” Sarri told Radio Punto Nuovo.
“Juve were intent on registering the player and the University was open to hosting the exam. The problems started when they found themselves faced with someone who had no knowledge of the Italian language.
“Formally, he was awarded a diploma for an intermediary level, but we discovered it was all predetermined.”
It is claimed that Suarez was given the questions in advance so he could learn the correct answers.
“There was no outside pressure, Juventus are not currently under investigation, but we’ll see what emerges. It was the people working at the University of Perugia who let themselves get star-struck.
“The player also does not risk any punishment, as this sort of type of thing is just about the public officials not doing their jobs. In fact, we had been investigating the University of Perugia for their less than transparent activities since February 2020. They were in a way unlucky to have done this when we were already investigating them.”
Because the university was already under investigation, there were wiretaps on their phones, which captured conversations making the ‘fix’ clear.
“It’s not that he should pass, he has to pass, because we can’t ruin a €10m per season deal over a B1 diploma,” said one official.
Suarez could only join Juventus if he had an EU passport, as the club already filled its quota of non-EU players for this season.
He was eligible for an Italian passport because his wife has Italian ancestry, but first needed to pass the exam.
Italy has a rather long history of scandals involving passports and players, as covered in our Only In Serie A feature.
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