Friday March 27 2015
Carraro: ‘Juventus cheated in ’98'

Former FIGC President Franco Carraro says the 1998 Scudetto was won unfairly by Juventus as he discusses the Calciopoli verdicts.

The Supreme Court gave its final ruling on the scandal this week, nine years after it initially broke, with some charges dropped and other passing the statute of limitations.

“My thoughts on Calciopoli are complex,” Carraro - who was forced to quit as Federation President over the scandal - told La Repubblica.

“Was there a shady network enveloping football? The judgements say yes, and we must stand by the judgements.

“Unlike what happened in ’98, Juventus had the strongest team in [winning] the two Leagues, and won on the field, not due to interference.

“That said, there were many things that were not right. And in ’98? Please, that, for me, was the only championship which was really distorted in favour of Juventus, remember the penalty [not given] on Ronaldo?

“Returning to Calciopoli, there were actions from the club which put the results in doubt. In the end - among other things - the judgement against Juventus is the result of a plea bargain.

“So I think it’s inappropriate for Juventus to ask for compensation. To plea bargain for a sanction and then claim damages is the schizophrenic behaviour of someone who wants to have their cake and eat it too.”

Carraro was overheard saying that Lazio must be helped to avoid relegation during the Calciopoli wiretaps, prompting his resignation, but the 75-year-old insists he was taken out of context.

“My phonecall about Lazio-Brescia must be understood in conjunction with another call where I explicitly said ‘If Brescia is the strongest, they win.’

“This was in the days where the newspapers were full of talk about the damage done to Lazio, and I wanted to defend the Federation from suspicion of being involved.

“The same is true of Inter-Juve, my call was simply the action of a Federation President who knows that in that sensitive situation you can’t afford a game in which things go in favour of Juve.

“I simply saw a danger to the Federation and I took responsibility and intervened.

“Anyway, I want to make clear I was acquitted of all charges, by the court in Naples, the sporting judiciary and the TAR in Lazio.

“I resigned because I made mistakes in sporting policy. My presence would have weakened the institution so, even though no-one asked me to, I resigned.”