Match-Fixing Ban Reductions In Italy Are A Joke

By Riccardo Di Julio
Stefano Mauri
Picture provided by Stefano Mauri’s official Twitter page

Earlier today, Lazio captain Stefano Mauri‘s ban has been officially reduced from nine to six months. For this reason, the 34-year-old will now have the opportunity to be back in the fields already for the Serie A games against Chievo Verona on Feb. 2 and, most importantly, the derby against Roma on the following weekend.

Mauri’s ban reduction is just another unfortunate episode that shows bad the Italian justice system works as it is never able to fully determine whether or not an individual under investigation is guilty or not. This happens mostly due to the mediation factor that sentences bring along in which the defendants will do everything they can to get the so-called discounts even when they are culpable.

In the particular case of Lazio’s captain, chances are that he might have been innocent all along. However, once the prosecutors have determined that he has guilty and banned him for a certain period of time as a consequence of this, what would ever be the need to then reduce the sentence in the middle of the suspension?

Of course, a lot of this has to do with the three degrees of judgement that characterizes the justice system of Italy. However, in an ideal world, if there would ever be changes within the different degrees, one would simply go from being innocent to guilty or the opposite way. Instead, as suggested by Coni‘s official report of Mauri’s case, the TNAS only partially accepted the request for arbitration presented by the player’s defense that resulted in the reduction.

As a consequence of this, when looking into this case from the eyes of the law, one would probably still be unclear about whether Mauri was guilty or innocent.  Furthermore, this exact same situation also happened for Juventus‘ coach Antonio Conte, who also had a ban reduction at the third degree of judgment.

Though many would disagree, both Conte and Mauri are two great professionals who had provided significant inputs to Italian soccer as a whole. For this reason, it wouldn’t be fair to judge them without knowing the actual insights of the legal case. With this being said, however, it is also true that if they found themselves in a dispute against the law they should simply be considered either guilty or innocent rather than in the middle of the two.

Riccardo Di Julio is a Soccer Writer for Follow him on Twitter @Italcatenaccio and add him to your network on Google.

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