Football’s greatest scandals

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Italian football was rocked again today as Italian police descended on Italy's training ground and made a series of arrests across the country on Monday as part of a investigation into match fixing in Serie A.

Lazio captain Stefano Mauri was arrested along with former Genoa midfielder Omar Milanetto as part of the investigation, while Antonio Conte, manager of reigning champions Juventus, is also being investigated for his part in alleged match fixing.

This isn't the first time scandal has rocked football to its core - football's past is littered with tawdry incidents that make a mockery of the phrase 'the beautiful game'.

Calciopoli scandal


2006 marked a low point in Italian football as the Calciopoli scandal gripped Serie A, with league champions Juventus implicated along with a number of other top flight teams, including Lazio and AC Milan.


Italian police uncovered evidence suggesting that Juventus general managers Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo had been influencing the appointment of referees and other evidence of telephone calls between team managers and referee organisations.


As punishment, AC Milan were deducted 30 points from the 05/06 season and forced to play one game behind closed doors, both Fiorentina and Lazio were removed from European competition and Juventus were stripped of their ’05 and 06 titles, taken out of the Champions League and relegated to Serie B.


Hoyzer’s referee fix


Germany was rocked by its own match-fixing scandal in 2005 as referee Robert Hoyzer was jailed having been found guilty of altering the outcome of games through his decisions in collusion with a Croatian betting syndicate.


Having aroused suspicion after overseeing a German Cup tie between lower league side Paderborn and Bundesliga outfit Hamburg which Paderborn won 4-2, Hoyzer resigned as a league referee.


Hoyzer later admitted to fixing matches and implicated other referees as well as players. Later, police raided the properties of 19 suspects and discovered evidence implicating a further 25 people, including 14 players in fixing ten matchs in 2004.


Hoyzer was later jailed for almost two-and-a-half years and other referee, Dominik Marks also received a jail sentence of one-and-a-half years.


Maradona's failed drug test


An icon of the world game, Maradona provided one of its most shocking images at the 1994 World Cup as he celebrated his goal against Greece.


Maradona charged towards a television camera with eyes bulging and neck veins protruding from his neck, screaming manically. He later tested positive for ephedrine doping.


Later he would claim to have ingested the banned substance by mistake, while also saying he had agreed with FIFA to allow him to take weight loss drugs in order for him to compete in the tournament.


Sadly, his failed drugs test at the 1994 World Cup signaled the end of his international career, which had lasted 17 years and yielded 34 goals from 91 games


Ronaldo's transvestites


Another great of the game to have sullied his reputation with his off-field antics, Ronaldo was caught with three transvestite prostitutes to a hotel room in Brazil back in 2008.


Upon discovering they were men, Ronaldo offered them money to leave but was then blackmailed for $30,000 before the incident went public, causing the Brazilian legend huge embarrassment as well as lucrative sponsorship deals.


One of the girls(?) also alleged Ronaldo was using narcotics while sleeping with all three transvestites, which he denies.


Jack Warner's corruption


Jack Warner, the former Fifa vice-president has been embroiled in numerous scandals during his time with world football’s governing body, the latest of which accuses him of secretly owning a £15 million centre of excellence training facility that was funded by development cash.


Warner, who stepped down in June having been suspended pending the outcome of a bribery allegation, told the media that he does not own the Dr João Havelange Centre of Excellence in Macoya – which newspaper investigations have proved to be untrue.


Warner has also been accused of asking for financial compensation in return for a vote in England’s 2018 World Cup campaign’s favour, selling on World Cup tickets on the black market and owning an account into which donations for the Hatian earthquake relief effort were sent.

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