Now that we are a few days separated from all hell breaking loose with Italian football’s latest scandal, it’s pretty easy to see that there is no end to it in sight. It just feels like there will be more names coming out connected to what is going on, much more information whenever new names come out and more developments involving those who have already been named in the investigation.
For Nicolo Fagioli, though, there might be an end to everything. And, in a way, the start of some very related things as well.
According to multiple reports out of Italy throughout the weekend, Fagioli — the first name to be associated with the gambling scandal that has taken over the news cycle during the current international break — is ready to discuss a potential plea deal agreement with investigators. Part of the deal would involve his continued cooperation in providing information regarding gambling activity, in turn meaning a reduced sentence would be the likely “reward” for aiding in the investigation.
Considering that Fagioli has already self-reported his gambling activity to te proper authorities, he was looking at a potential three-year ban if he had not cooperated any further than his original statements. But if a plea deal is reached, that three-year suspension could be cut in half or even more than that depending on what is provided to investigators.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, a Fagioli plea deal could be worked out as early as over the next week or so, with FIGC prosecutor Giuseppe Chinè — hey, remember him?! — leading the discussions with Fagioli and his legal representation since he self-reported his gambling activities.
Both Fagioli’s legal team and Juventus haves since confirmed the 22-year-old’s gambling activity and that they acted promptly when first informed of the activity. Fagioli has reportedly told investigators that he has bet on football, but never matches involving his current or former clubs.
Footballers in Italy are allowed to place bets on sports other than their own just as long as they do so through legal channels, in this case the handful of allowed websites. Where Fagioli and the other players who have been publicly named have gotten into trouble is that it’s a mix of potentially gambling on football matches and other activities on illegal websites.
Even if Fagioli’s ban is cut in half thanks to a plea deal, he could still be potentially looking at over a year out of the game. This comes at a time in which Juventus very much needs a player of his qualities and help in the midfield. You hope that whenever the suspension does come down, he has already started to get the help that he needs to overcome this gambling addiction that he has and then he is able to continue it before he returns to the field in whatever capacity that may be in.