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 By Ben Gladwell

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli denies mafia ties for ticket sales

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has declared his innocence after being drawn into an anti-mafia investigation by the Italian Football Association.

Agnelli was named on Monday by the Italian FA's (FIGC) prosecutors as one of the figures under investigation in relation to alleged mafia involvement in the sale of tickets for Juventus matches.

It is claimed that members of the 'ndrangheta have been working, with the club's consent, on touting tickets for fixtures at the Juventus Stadium. A dossier of over 5,000 pages has already been compiled on alleged mafia infiltration in the city of Turin, including with the sale of football tickets, but Agnelli insists he has nothing to do with it.

"With respect for the investigating organs and the judges, I would like to remind people that I have NEVER met with mafia bosses. What I am reading is FALSE," he wrote on Twitter.

The FIGC's prosecutor Giuseppe Pecoraro is of a different view, however. According to the ANSA news agency, he has evidence "that Saverio Dominello [of 'ndrangheta] and his son, Rocco, are represented in Turin by Belloco Pesce di Rosarno and that Rocco Dominello has a relationship with Juventus management for the management of tickets and season tickets."

A telephone conversation between Agnelli and another member of Juve management in which Agnelli says four times that it is "impossible" that he has met with Rocco Dominello was heard as part of a dossier presented to Pecoraro on Monday.

"I will now evaluate this carefully and then I will take a decision with my colleagues," Pecoraro told ANSA. "I have only spoken about contacts, not of relationships."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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