Luis Suarez‘s citizenship test scandal has led to the suspension of four university officials in Italy who are being indicted for helping the Uruguayan footballer to cheat in a language test in September 2020.
The four officials are members of staff at the University of Perugia which is a university for Foreigners in Italy. Suarez who was looking for an exit route from FC Barcelona where he was no longer wanted, visited the university in September to undertake an Italian language test which was one of the prerequisites needed to land a move to Juventus.
At the time, Juventus have exceeded the quota of non-EU players, and the available option left for the club to sign Luis Suarez who is not a European player was for him to apply for naturalization.
One of the requirements for an applicant of citizenship by naturalization in Italy is to pass an Italian language test. Hence, it was reported that Juventus‘ sporting director Fabio Paratici did everything within his power to ensure that he got the signature of Suarez.
In that process, Perugia’s investigation office alleged that the Juventus’ sporting director manipulated the process of acquiring naturalization for the Uruguayan forward. Fabio Paratici reportedly lobbied the officials of the university and collected the questions for the language test ahead of the scheduled date for the test.
Hence, Luis Suarez had the opportunity to practice the questions ahead which the investigators believed helped the player to finish the test within 15 minutes. At the end of the test, the former Liverpool and Barcelona striker got a B1 which was enough to get Italian citizenship.
Though Luis Suarez has been dating an Italian lady, Sofía Balbi, since he was 15-year-old and ended up marrying her in 2009, the investigators believe that the ability of the 33-year-old footballer to understand the language was not as strong as getting a B1 in the language test.
Perugia’s investigator’s attention was drawn to Suarez’s naturalization process when it began to trend on social media that the footballer was given preferential treatment in the process of acquiring Italian citizenship. Hence, Luis Suarez’s citizenship test scandal halted his planned move to Juventus.
Still, the investigators continued to investigate Luis Suarez’s citizenship test scandal which led to the suspension of the university officials. Those officials indicted are Rector Giuliana Grego, chief executive Simone Olivieri, Suarez’s Italian professor Stefania Spina and fellow tutor Lorenzo Rocca.
Meanwhile, Juventus have confirmed that the club’s sporting director Fabio Paratici has been notified that he is under investigation in connection with Luis Suarez’s citizenship test scandal and he would be given a due hearing.
A statement the club issued recently stated that the investigation would help to clear the name of the club’s sporting director.
“Juventus Football Club confirms that today Fabio Paratici has been notified of information regarding the guarantee and the right of defense.
“The Club strongly reiterates the correctness of Paratici’s work and is confident that the ongoing investigations will help clarify his position within a reasonable time.”
Also, the University of Perugia has insisted that the academic institution did not do anything wrong in the entire process.
As for Luis Suarez, the striker has since moved to Atlético Madrid from FC Barcelona for free and he is expected to remain at the Spanish club until June 2022. While Juventus decided to go for Álvaro Morata in place of Suarez.