Tottenham official Fabio Paratici to serve worldwide ban
FILE - Tottenham Managing Director Fabio Paratici sits on the bench during the friendly soccer match between Chelsea and Tottenham at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici will serve a worldwide ban for his part in a false accounting scandal involving Juventus, FIFA said Wednesday.

Italy’s most famous football team was hit with a 15-point penalty in January and bans were handed out to a number of its officials, including former president Andrea Agnelli and former CEO Maurizio Arrivabene.

Paratici, who had already left his role as sporting director and taken up a new position at Tottenham, was handed the longest ban of two and a half years by the Italian soccer federation. That has now been extended worldwide.

“FIFA can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC), the chairperson of FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect,” the governing body said.

The decision will have a significant impact on Tottenham at a time when the Premier League club is conducting a search for a new manager following the departure of Antonio Conte.

Conte, who is Italian, left the London club by “mutual agreement” on Sunday, just over a week after a post-match outburst in which he criticised the players and made withering comments about Tottenham’s ownership.

Paratici would have been expected to play a key role in identifying and hiring Conte’s successor, with former Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann among the names linked with the job.

On Tuesday, Paratici spoke about Conte’s exit and his determination to see Tottenham have a successful end to the season.

“We will fight to achieve our targets. We are prepared to fight until the end of the season,” Paratici said. “Everyone has to be focused on the last part of the season.”

Prosecutors had been investigating since 2021 whether Juventus cashed in on illegal commissions from transfers and loans of players. Juventus said at the start of the coronavirus pandemic that 23 players agreed to reduce their salaries for four months to help the club through the crisis. But prosecutors claim the players gave up only one month’s salary.

Juventus, which denies wrongdoing, has appealed the 15-point penalty to Italy’s highest sports court within the Italian Olympic Committee, known as CONI. An appeal hearing at CONI is slated for April 19.

On Monday, the club’s lawyers appeared before a judge to face the first in a series of court dates. The hearing was postponed until May 10 for administrative reasons.

Agnelli and 11 others face charges of false communications by a company listed publicly on the Milan stock exchange, obstructing watchdog agencies, false billing and market manipulation.

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