Police are understood to be investigating if Luis Suarez cheated on his Italian citizenship exam as he attempted to gain a passport ahead of his failed transfer from Barcelona to Serie A champions Juventus.
Suarez, 33, appeared close to signing with the Turin club but, because of restrictions on foreign players in the Italian top flight, the Uruguayan striker was ordered to pass a citizenship exam, which included a language test.
The former Liverpool and Ajax man was considered eligible to apply for an Italian passport due to his wife, Sofia Balbi, having relations in the country.
Suarez passed the exam but Juventus pulled the plug on the deal, claiming that they wouldn’t have sufficient time to register him before the Italian deadline.
Suarez is now heavily linked to joining Barca’s La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid where he would team up with their coach Diego Simeone – someone considered something of a kindred spirit to Suarez, at least from a character perspective.
But there appears to further rancor developing from Suarez’s Italian citizenship exam after it was alleged that he knew some of the questions in advance.
However, reports are quick to point out that Juventus were unaware of any cheating in the exam with the University of Perugia understood to be central to an investigation.
“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,” a statement from the Perugia Prosecutor’s Office read.
“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.”
Suarez has been deemed surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou by new coach Ronald Koeman as the Dutchman attempts to oversee Barcelona’s return to La Liga dominance, but it remains unclear if the player will receive any type of sanction should the cheating allegations be proved true.
Nonetheless, Atletico Madrid appear keen to welcome Suarez to their ranks after an impressive 198 goals in 283 appearances for the Catalan club and he is expected to be the focal point of an Atletico Madrid side, who recently cut loose Spain strikers Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata from their ranks.