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Probe launched into Juventus and Standard Liege

22 March 2007 22:08

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Shamed former Italian champions Juventus and Belgium's Standard Liege are being investigated over possible fraud.

An Italian magistrate has travelled to Belgium as part of an investigation into suspicious financial activities between the Italians and Belgians, Belgian legal sources said Thursday.

Turin's deputy public prosecutor has reportedly questioned Standard's vice-president Lucien D'Onofrio and former Standard Liege and Juventus player Serhiy Kovalenko of the Ukraine over the player's transfer to the Belgian side in 2005.

Italian authorities are keen to verify whether overpricing in the sale of several Juventus players had occurred in order to hide other cashflows from the club.

Other transfers highlighted for investigation are Uruguayan international goalkeeper Fabian Carini and Nigerian striker Benjamin Onwuachi, according to Belga press agency.

Carini, who was not a regular first team started for Juventus, signed for Standard in 2002 from the Italian club for five million euros. The Italian giants then bought him back for the 2003-2004 season only exchange him straight away for Inter Milan defender Fabio Cannavaro.

Standard are also being investigated by Belgian authorities for fraud and forgery.

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