Juventus officials have been accused of “accelerating” the process of obtaining Italian citizenship for Luis Suárez, who is alleged to have cheated in the language test required for his application.
The dean of the University for Foreigners in Perugia, where the Uruguay striker passed the exam in September, and three other university staff have been suspended as part of the investigation into the alleged rigging of the test.
Juventus had been hoping to sign the footballer, whose wife has Italian origins, from Barcelona and needed him to get Italian citizenship as part of a requirement to not surpass the authorised quota of non-EU players.
Raffaele Cantone, the prosecutor of Perugia, said that during the investigation it emerged that the contents of the test had been communicated to the player beforehand, “and the result and score of the exam had been predetermined in order to correspond to the requests made by Juventus”, Cantone added.
Cantone said that in early September, the management of Juventus, “even at the highest institutional levels”, took steps to “accelerate” the process of Suárez obtaining Italian citizenship.
Juventus have not commented. Suárez, who has not been investigated, signed for Atlético Madrid in late September.
Giuliana Grego Bolli, the dean of Perugia’s University for Foreigners, has been suspended for eight months in connection with the investigation. A general manager and two teachers have also been suspended.
Reports in the Italian press in September claimed Suárez’s tutor had told an examiner that the the player could not “utter a word of Italian” and so needed help to pass in order not to “blow up a 10-million-a-season salary just because he doesn’t have a B1”. A B1 is the document required to show Italian language competency for citizenship.