Former Juve and Italian World Cup star Iaquinta sentenced to 2 years for firearm offences

November 1 – An Italian court has sentenced former international World Cup star Vincenzo Iaquinta to two years in jail for firearm offences and his father, Giuseppe, to 19 years at the end of a trial of almost 150 people.

The 38-year-old, who was part of Italy’s winning World Cup team in 2006, was one of those standing trial for alleged links to the ‘Ndrangheta, Italy’s most powerful organised crime network which is based in the southern region of Calabria.

The court ruled that Iaquinta illegally passed two guns to his father – who at the time was under a court order banning him from keeping firearms – but dismissed accusations that he was involved with the ’Ndrangheta. However, the court in the northern city of Reggio Emilia ruled that his father did have mafia ties. More than 120 other defendants were also found guilty in the case, which was the biggest ever such trial targeting the network.

Under Italian law, defendants are allowed to appeal twice before a sentence is confirmed. Even then it is highly unlikely that Iaquinta would have to serve time in prison time for such an offence.

“Ridiculous, shame,” Iaquinta and his father shouted as their sentences were announced.

The trial was the largest of its kind to take place in northern Italy. The ‘Ndrangheta has around 6,000 members, according to FBI estimates.

Iaquinta furiously denied any wrongdoing after the sentence was read out. “They have ruined my life over nothing just because I come from Calabria,” the former Juventus star yelled as he left the court building. “We have done nothing and we have nothing to do with the ’Ndrangheta. I am suffering like a dog … for nothing.”

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