There is nothing better on a warm day than going for a dip in a pool. Even better if that pool happens to be in the back yard of your house. However if that house has already been seized by authorities and you have been ordered to stay out then the ramifications of that swim are yours and yours alone to deal with. Unfortunately for former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro, this bizarre scenario is tragically unfolding before his very eyes. The 41 year old has been under investigation in his native Italy for tax evasion with reports suggesting that his wife’s company FD Services which deals with luxury yachts owes over €1m in unpaid corporate, regional and value added tax between 2005 and 2010. In October last year, authorities in Naples seized almost the same amount owed in goods linked to Cannavaro and his wife, Daniela Arenoso and applied a order for the Cannavaro’s to keep out of their property in until further notice.
The couple, along with Fabio’s younger brother Paolo who plays for Serie A side Sassuolo however ignore the order and were caught going for a swim in their pool. The result of this was that World Cup winning Cannavaro has now been sentenced to 10 months in prison, with his wife and brother handed custodial sentences. Appeals for the trio have been started and their sentences suspended until a final judgment can be made. Cannavaro, who current resides in China as manager of Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, has insisted that he is innocent and will work with his legal team to have the sentenced squashed and his name restored.
In a strange turn of events and according to the investigation led by prosecutor Luigi Cannavale, the villa had been confiscated for suspected abuse of building regulations and for failing to secure the correct planning permission for alterations done to their house, pool and garden. The Cannavaro’s were eventually acquitted of the planning permission allegations but the order still stood to remain out of the property and its grounds due to the ongoing tax evasion investigation. Cannavaro’s lawyer will likely plead miscommunication and understanding about having access to the property as he attempts to get his client’s charges dropped.
This isn’t the first time that Italian football has been under the spotlight for tax evasion. In 2006, as part of a wider inquiry into potential match fixing of Serie A and Serie B games, several club owners and players including Cannavaro and Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic were investigated for tax infringements and evasion with Juventus chairman Antonio Giraudo eventually sentenced to three years in prison and the club relegated to the second division for match fixing and tax evasion reasons. No charges were ever laid against the two players mentioned above with both cleared of any wrongdoings.
Cannavaro had a distingushed playing career for both club and country representing Italy over 113 times and captaining them to sucess at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The former Parma, Inter, Juventus and Real Madrid centre back is considered one of Italy’s greatest players and was just embarking on a new chapter of his life in management after retiring from playing. He only took over from Marcello Lippi as manager of Guangzhou last month after the former Italy manager retired. But now his future is in doubt thanks to a poor decision to cool off in his pool. It could end up being a costly dip for Cannavaro especially if the conviction is upheld and the World Cup winning captain is force to spend time beind bars.