Thursday January 14 2021
Suarez case: The Minister's role and Paratici's late request

Minister of Transport Paola De Micheli reportedly tried to 'accelerate' the Luis Suarez citizenship process, as Juventus director Fabio Paratici agreed terms with the player before knowing about his lack of a European passport.

Corriere della Sera reports how the Perugia Prosecutors are reconstructing the Suarez case, as the Uruguayan was on the verge of signing with Juventus last summer.

The newspaper reveals sporting director Paratici found out about the lack of a European citizenship after he had reached an agreement worth €10m with the player.

Even if he was convinced that Suarez already had a European passport, ‘as the specialised sites said’, he double checked with the player’s agent after having reached an agreement on August 30.

“He doesn’t have a European passport,” the agent replied, according to Corriere della Sera.

Paratici then contacted his friend from Piacenza and Minister of Transport Paola De Micheli, who reportedly messaged the head of Interior Ministry to ‘accelerate’ Luis Suarez citizenship ahead of the proposed move to Juventus.

The Guardia di Finanza found ‘irregularities’ in the citizenship exam taken by the current Atletico Madrid striker.

His move fell through due to the lack of an Italian passport and the Bianconeri signed Alvaro Morata as their new centre-forward, with Suarez moving to the Colchoneros.

The newspaper reveals the prosecutors started with a message from the Minister of Transport to the head of the cabinet of the Interior Ministry Bruno Frattasi, something that triggered the investigation into the management and employees of the University for Foreigners, Juventus director Fabio Paratici and two lawyers of the Bianconeri club.

The Minister attached the details of a practice initiated in the past by the Uruguayan striker, who was then tied to Barcelona.

Frattasi replied with the rejected request from 2019 due to lack of knowledge of the Italian language and added: “If, as I believe, they want to propose a new concession application, we can support them.”

De Micheli then said: “This is a player that Juve want to buy. He didn’t take the exam because he has been in Europe for 11 years.

“But he didn’t write that in the question. So, you advise me to put Juve in touch with your manager to accelerate???”

Frattasi replied: “Yes, send them to me, then I’ll take care of it.”

Paratici reportedly confirmed on November 11 that the Suarez deal was done, with an agreement worth €7.5m plus €2.5m in possible bonuses.

Suarez also confirmed he had agreed a pre-contract with Juve for one year, plus one or two further years with a withdrawal clause in favour of the Old Lady after the first season.

But Paratici then realised he didn’t have a passport and contacted the Minister of Transport.

“He told me that Juve were buying Suarez and the agreement was almost done,” she said, according to the newspaper.

“They realised he had no community passport, which emerged after the negotiation was almost concluded and therefore the requirement of citizenship was essential for the successful completion of the operation.”

Paratici then entrusted the club lawyers with the issue and claimed he contacted the lawyer after September 5 and he excluded De Micheli’s name in his statement and denied having had contact with the Interior Ministry.

The sporting director is being investigated for false statements to the prosecutor and the investigation continues to identify other possible involvement and to find out why the deal fell through, even if Suarez had been given a certificate of knowledge of the Italian language thanks to the exam organised by the University for Foreigners of Perugia.