Ju­ven­tus win as pres­i­dent de­nies mafia ties

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MI­LAN: Ju­ven­tus beat a spir­ited Sam­p­do­ria 1-0 after Juan Cuadrado’s early goal to pro­vi­sion­ally ex­tend their lead in Serie A and take a step closer to a sixth suc­ces­sive Scud­etto, while Napoli kept alive their faint title hopes with a 3-2 win at Em­poli.

Ju­ven­tus moved up to 73 points with nine games to play when Cuadrado, mak­ing his 50th ap­pear­ance for the reign­ing cham­pi­ons, met Kwadwo Asamoah’s ex­cel­lent cross from the left in the sev­enth minute with a div­ing header to give Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri’s re­lent­less league lead­ers an early lead.

Ear­lier, Napoli con­sol­i­dated their grip on the Cham­pi­ons League places and moved 10 points be­hind Juve and pro­vi­sion­ally above Roma into sec­ond on 63 points with an ex­hil­a­rat­ing win at Em­poli.

Ale­jan­dro Gomez’s dou­ble and a goal from Al­berto Grassi saw Ata­lanta bounce back from last week­end’s 7-1 hum­bling at In­ter Mi­lan and beat Pescara 2-0 to move back up to sixth on 55 points.

Meanwhile, Ju­ven­tus pres­i­dent An­drea Agnelli, who faces a grilling by an Ital­ian anti-mafia com­mis­sion, on Satur­day an­grily de­nied claims he know­ingly met bosses of a feared or­gan­ised crime group.

Agnelli was sum­moned after wire­tap ev­i­dence from an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ‘Ndrangheta linked staff at the Serie A cham­pi­ons to the Cal­abria-based crim­i­nal net­work.

It fol­lows claims by an Ital­ian foot­ball fed­er­a­tion (FIGC) of­fi­cial that Agnelli and three other club of­fi­cials main­tained “con­tact” with an al­leged ‘Ndrangheta mem­ber.

In a Twit­ter mes­sage last week Agnelli said he had “never met mafia bosses.”

And after re­ceiv­ing from fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors his sum­mons to give ev­i­dence, Agnelli read out and then pub­lished a de­fi­ant state­ment of de­nial.

“As I said a few days ago, I have never met mafia bosses. At reg­u­lar in­ter­vals, as you know, I meet with all dif­fer­ent kinds of fans, whether they’re ticket-hold­ers or mem­bers of groups of ul­tras,” he told me­dia on Satur­day. Agen­cies

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