When the calciopoli crisis broke in Italian football in 2006, we offered our services to the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) which resulted in a leech consultancy of 12 months duration. Six teams were found to have rigged matches by selecting favourable referees via GEA World football agents. Juventus were stripped of two titles and relegated, four other teams were sanctioned and, during season 2006/07, 13 referees were banned or suspended.
Our research and analyses showed that both Internazionale and Milan were equally guilty as these two clubs also manipulated referee selection for proprietary gain. Our consultancy was accepted but not acted upon until 2011 when inquiries by FIGC chief investigator, Stefano Palazzi, showed that Livorno, Internazionale and Milan should also have been relegated as part of the calciopoli processes.
The primary modus operandi of the systemic corruption in calciopoli is one that we have found replicated in more recent matchfixing cases – agents approaching coerced/ bribed/ accommodating league officials to select biased referees for particular matches for gains both on the field of play and in the betting markets.