UEFA president Čeferin offers ‘total support’ to Italian soccer boss accused of embezzlement

MILAN (AP) — UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin on Friday expressed his “total support” for Italian soccer chief Gabriele Gravina, who is being investigated by Rome prosecutors for alleged embezzlement and money laundering.

Gravina, who is a UEFA vice president and the president of the Italian soccer federation (FIGC), is accused of illegally using money from a TV rights auction in 2018, when he was head of Italy’s third division, for the purchase of a home in Milan. He also allegedly used the TV rights deal to set up the private sale of a valuable collection of medieval books that he owned, although that sale was reportedly never concluded.

The 70-year-old denies any wrongdoing and his lawyers supplied the prosecutors on Wednesday with reams of documentation purportedly proving that the money for the house came from a different source.

“I absolutely believe that he will explain everything,” Čeferin told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday. “He has my total support. The problem is that the damage has already been done, but unfortunately we live in really terrible times.

“I offer my personal support to Gabriele. I know him very well, I consider him an honest and respectable person and a great soccer director.”

Gravina was elected FIGC president in 2018. From 2005-18, he led the Lega Pro, which governs Serie C. He was elected to UEFA’s executive committee in April 2021 and voted in as vice president two years later.


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/Soccer

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