Just days after Juventus was put out of its euphoria with the news that it had signed a new Uruguayan striker, Luis Suárez , IATA is facing accusations of match-fixing. Several Italian newspapers are reporting that Suárez had his Italian citizenship test banned due to a technicality, in the first instance, that a Uruguayan man mistakenly owned the equivalent of $26,000.
During the legal proceedings to become a Uruguayan citizen in 2010, many supporters of the soccer club Juve, as it is known, suspected there was a connection with the bureaucracy. At the time, the main suspect was a Guyanese, Romuald Johnson.
Johnson was never charged, and was later acquitted on the grounds that he had been suffering from Guyanese ancestry for 25 years, Reuters reports.
Meanwhile, further information has emerged that has raised even more suspicion about Suárez. It appears that he paid $26,000 in order to get his citizenship test. And, according to L’Espresso, the case is not over — but it is dubious if that extra money had anything to do with the false registration. According to the Italian official who was involved in the original case, the team knew the name of the owner, but had its doubts over the true nature of the owner.
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Juventus’ director general, Giuseppe Marotta, confirmed the reports during an interview with the AQUIS podcast. “He’s one of the players who has come to the Italian league,” Marotta said. “But there are lots of players who came, many of them with bought citizenship,” he added.
As recent as 2014, Suárez already admitted that he went to see a supposed doctor to determine whether he should receive his Uruguayan passport.
Suárez played for Barcelona in the early stages of the Spanish season. He left Barcelona to join the English team Liverpool in 2014 and joined the international side in 2010.