Nov
12
2008
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Lazio

It has been revealed that the Camorra crime syndicate was operating undercover in an attempt to acquire Italian club Lazio, which is listed on the Milan stock exchange. In July, the Italian authorities announced that ten people had been arrested in Rome on suspicion of money laundering. The suspects had allegedly attempted to purchase Lazio shares in order to launder Camorra funds and thus acquire a controlling stake in the club. Those arrested included the Neapolitan businessman Giuseppe Diana, who is known for his involvement with the mafia. Authorities also ordered the arrest of former Lazio midfielder Giorgio Chinaglia, who was ordered to pay a fine of 4.2 million euros last November for his part in a scandal in which he was accused of trying to influence the price of Lazio shares. Chinaglia, who once played alongside Pele and Franz Beckenbauer at New York Cosmos, told the Italian media in 2005 that a Hungarian Pharmaceuticals company was interested in acquiring Lazio. This led to a sharp hike in the share price of the club, which has been listed since 2000, before the entire story was shown to be false. The former pro is also accused of threatening and blackmailing Lazio president Claudio Lotito. it is alleged that Chinaglia turned to violence-prone ultras in an attempt to coerce the Lazio boss into selling the club. As a result, Lotito has been under police protection since 2006.