Luis Suarez is in the middle of yet another shameful scandal after reports emerged that Police in Italy are investigating claims he cheated in his Italian exam to gain a passport for his failed move to Juventus.
Suarez, who has been deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona, was reportedly on the verge of joining Italian champions but first had to pass a language test.
The 33-year-old Uruguayan was eligible to apply for a passport as his wife, Sofia Balbi, has Italian ancestors – but rules dictate he must pass his language test.
Suarez passed his exam, but Juve pulled out of signing him.
Director Fabio Paratici claimed the club wouldn’t have time to sort his passport before having to register him into their squad.
But now, multiple reports in Italy are claiming Suarez actually cheated and “knew the test questions” in advance.
There are no suggestions Juventus knew about the “cheating” and the University of Perugia are said to be the focus of the investigation, not Suarez himself.
On Tuesday, the Perugia Prosecutor’s Office released a statement regarding the investigation.
It read: “During the investigations some irregularities have emerged in the exam of Certification of Italian, sat on September 17 by Uruguayan football player Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz, needed to obtain the Italian citizenship.
“From the investigation, it emerged the topics in the exam had been agreed in advance with the applicant…”
“The relative mark had been attributed even before carrying out the exam, regardless of the fact an elementary proficiency of the Italian language has been verified during remote classes carried out by lecturers.
“Today, the Italian financial police are moving forward to capture the documents at the university offices…
“[They will] verify the actions described beforehand and notify the information assurances for the crimes of revelation of professional secrecy, false representation committed by public officials in official documents and other.”
It is not yet clear what punishment Suarez could face if found guilty of cheating but the incident marks yet another shameful episode for the player whose career has been potted with a litany of egregious infractions.
The former Liverpool striker has faced punishment on three occasions for biting opponents and was fined and banned for racially abusing former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
He is reviled in Africa for his deliberate handball in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup between Uruguay and Ghana that prevented Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with the scores level at 1-1. A penalty was awarded and subsequently missed – with Uruguay ultimately progressing on penalties.
Suarez has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid but the transfer is in jeopardy with Barcelona reportedly unwillingly to sanction allow their player join their La Liga rivals on a free transfer.