- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ROME (AP) - Nearly nine years after Italy’s biggest soccer scandal, the investigation has been closed with hardly any sentences given.

Former Juventus executives Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo will not face jail for match-fixing after their prison sentences were eliminated by Italy’s highest criminal court, which ruled that the statute of limitations expired.

After six hours of deliberations on Monday, the Court of Cassation upheld prosecutor Gabriele Mazzotta’s recommendations, although the pair was not acquitted.

However, Moggi believed the verdict proved Juventus did not cheat for a Serie A championship.

“We have joked about for nine years, and that is a regrettable thing, because this abnormal trial has ended with nothing: Just a lot of costs,” Moggi said. “In nine years, it has been established that the championship was in fact regular, the drawing (of referees) was regular, and that there were no communications on the appointments (of referees).”

Moggi avoids a 28-month jail term for criminal association, while Giraudo escapes 20 months in prison.

At the heart of the 2006 match-fixing scandal, known as Calciopoli, were accusations that Moggi and Giraudo created a network of contacts with Italian football federation officials to influence refereeing assignments and arrange for key players in other teams to be booked ahead of matches with the Turin club.

Juventus was stripped of the 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles for its role in the scandal, and the club was relegated to the second division with a nine-point penalty. The team immediately won promotion back to Serie A.

There were also points penalties for other clubs.

Moggi was sentenced to 5 years, 4 months in the initial ruling in the case but that was reduced on appeal, while Giraudo had his sentence cut from 36 months.

In 2011, the Italian federation extended the five-year bans for Moggi and Giraudo to life terms. Both men deny wrongdoing.

Former referee designator Pierluigi Pairetto and former Italian federation vice president Innocenzo Mazzini also had their sentences eliminated, while former referees Paolo Bertini and Antonio Dattilo were acquitted.

Another former referee, Massimo De Santis, was the only one not to see his sentence wiped out, and his appeal against his 10-month suspended sentence was rejected.

“It was a trial that was flawed from the outset,” De Santis said. “I’m the only referee to remain incriminated, for two matches which didn’t even include Juve.

“I’m waiting to read the motivations, but it seems to me like I’ve been discriminated against. I feel a huge disappointment towards Italian justice, and I wouldn’t wish what has happened to me on any citizen.”

The matter is far from over as Juventus is demanding compensation of 443 million euros ($484 million) from the Italian federation for lost revenue and damages to its reputation.

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