25 July 2011


By Dr3

Seeing and Knowing

I’ve been trying to measure my words for this subject. For the last time, I will mention or dedicate anything, intentionally, to Calciopoli.

People construct arguments grasping at whatever factoids they can to substantiate their beliefs and their ‘knowledge’, as fact. As if Calciopoli was not ‘smoky mirrors’ enough already, allegiances and disgruntled fanaticism have led to all sorts of ‘truths’ and watertight alibis that still manage to contradict one another. The only new “truth” that has emerged from the second trial for me, is that Juventus were ‘in fact’ the target of a witch-hunt in 2006.

But what does that mean?

I knew that with the original trials, transcribes, punishments and immediate widespread resignations that took place, that everything was right with this world. Justice was served; at last. The thieving Old Lady, in constant collusion with a mobster was finally caught. Legally. There were no tears shed for Juventus. No one defended them. And only one man vowed to fight for his contextual “innocence”. With the publishing of the transcripts that were part of the investigation in the newspapers, it became abundantly clear that conspiracy theorists had been vindicated. With the swiftness and harshness of the penalty, the justice system had appeased a public shamed by the scandal; the justice system works. Lazio fans knew it. Inter fans knew it. Smaller teams felt it. But now the world knew. The subdued voices from Juventus, suggested that the verdict reached was correct, because everyone knows an innocent man speaks up, right?

But then came the revelations. The Inter-relations of the prosecution team became the talk of the Juventus fans, gaining belief from their knight in shining armor. As time went on Moggi had all of the egregious charges brought against him dropped, and it meant that people began to know of something fishy. In some circles, people knew that the first trial was a complete farce. Forgetting the transcripts we read, needing validation of our judgment we started over. In the final twist of the plot Moggi’s lawyers embarked upon the resurrection of some details, somehow overlooked as immaterial in the first trial; knowledge is power the say. It became clearer that many other teams could, and should have been found guilty of the same charges that were stuck to Moggi/Juventus; insipid and ambiguous communication and unsportsmanlike charges. The trials in Naples gave ‘more’ information to the public, and bred new life into the cry of foul from the Juventi.

At this point Stefano Palazzi enters our minds, throwing a wrench at our knowledge. We know that it is said that he has released a 72-page dossier. Somewhere. We know that he has publicly said that “Inter would have been found guilty of sporting fraud too”. But what do we really know?

There has been a lot of talk about the distinctions or lack thereof between the allegations. There has been a cry for parity citing this new evidence. But what evidence? All that we know is that there is a 72-page dossier. Where are the transcripts that were made available to the public as done before with Moggi? What is it that was said on the wiretaps that would prompt a man to go public with an allegation before any verdict, or before making this evidence available to the public? Is that the same process?

Moratti both justly and cowardly has spoken only of the unacceptability of defaming a dead man, sort of playing a dead-relative card, to which Agnelli has spoken up about the intentions not being to defame, but rather to seek parity in judgment. But how could this distinction really exist? How could it be separate if unlike Moggi this man cannot defend himself and be cleared of any allegations? With all the mention of Article1 violations being the only thing that Juventus were found guilty of, it is interesting that no mention is being made that Moggi was in fact cleared of other violations. Not that they were not alleged at all. What we know is that a man has made a supposition. We know that a man who is dead cannot stand. As such an allegation is being touted as truth, as if it is a verdict. As if, even if there was a verdict, that it would represent truth. We supposedly know now, that Inter were just as guilty, just as we knew before Moggi was cleared, that he was too.

We knew that due to a flawed system that the case was passed its statue statute of limitations. Yet we callously promote scandal with factoids and ambiguity that the FIGC should do the right thing. Illegally. We knew the date on which the verdict would be delivered. We also knew that the date in which this verdict would be delivered was the day that the accused-dead-man was born. We know that this was a coincidence though. We also know now that Juventus will seek truth and pursue this case to its full fruition.

In regular life there’s a cliché that says that the more you know, the less you don’t know. In Calcio, the opposite seems to be true. All we have now is a series of innuendo. A belief system tempered by blind allegiances. Grievances with the system when it fails, yet validation when it works; for “us”. How could the same Juventi that chastised/chastises a system as being fraud, now rejoice in a non-verdict declaration by the same system as proof? How could the same Nerazzurri that rejoiced when justice was supposedly served now recoil in disgust when the magnifying glass is on them?

True knowledge is in knowing that you know nothing

This is not about demonizing Juventus. My ‘hatred’ for them is not the one that rejoices in Fulham defeats, or spends all day responding to "Inter Merda". What I hate is the supposed truth that they are of all things, being painted as victims. That there is “new truth”. I can only speak of what I “know”, while accepting that I know nothing. What I believe can be substantiated, but it still does not constitute truth. I know, knew, and will always believe that Juventus were the cheatingest team that I had/have ever seen in football. I didn’t need the courts to tell me that players getting penalties for fouls outside of the box represented unfairness. Neither did I need them to tell me that phantom disallowed goals against Juventus were the workings of some sort of syndicate. My memory of the uproar in Italian newspapers even before the trials concerning Juventus’ cheating is not and will never be gone. I do know though, that Juventus through an illegal/shady process were the targets of a “victimless” witch-hunt in 2006. Victimless because the teams who were cheated by them, mine included, were vindicated. Victimless because fans that pretend that there is absolutely no cheating in their favor deserve no pity; at least not mine. I used “victimless” though, because I do respect the Juventus players, who have stayed and honored their club, and even those who have left or joined since.

I know that the Scudetto of 2006 is a poisoned chalice, but I resent any of Moggi’s insinuations of “everyone is guilty”. Not just because of the results, but because it would mean that I was watching scripted football-reality-TV. I know that a team that is cheating and changing refereeing structures, and committing sporting fraud wouldn’t be a perennial 5th placed team like mine was. I also know that based on what I read, the SIM cards, the car "gifts" and the verdict that was reached for Moggi (only article 1), that the courts mean absolutely nothing. I won’t pretend or hide behind some cloak of infallible impartiality, such that my beliefs are only guided by some divine truth. But I won’t dismiss what I saw on the basis that I have a favorite team. Moggi can wheel and deal, and find technicalities and alibies from all of his friends forever. He may also now classlessly make jibes about Calcipoli, sort of like OJ Simpson making ads for gloves. He can never though, change the fact that I know what I saw.

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