UPDATE 3-Soccer-Former Juve chief Moggi jailed for 18 months

Thu Jan 8, 2009 3:34pm GMT

(Adds probability Moggi will not serve sentence)

ROME Jan 8 (Reuters) - Former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being found guilty in the Gea World transfer corruption trial on Thursday.

Agent Davide Lippi, son of Italy coach Marcello Lippi, was acquitted along with three others following the long-running Rome trial.

Prosecutors had wanted Moggi, 71, to go to jail for six years for using the Gea soccer management agency to manipulate the Italian transfer market.

First jail terms in Italy do not start until an appeals process is exhausted. Judicial sources said Moggi was also unlikely to serve the sentence because of a 2006 pardon by the government.

His case began just before the controversial pardon which freed thousands of convicted criminals from jail.

Moggi was accused of using threats and violence to make players sign for the management agency and for specific clubs so that his Juve side could prosper.

Moggi, already banned from football for five years for his part in a 2006 Italian match-fixing affair, is facing a separate criminal trial over that scandal as well as a probe into Juve's finances during his tenure.

Moggi's son Alessandro, who ran Gea World, was given a 14-month sentence.

Juve were demoted to Italy's second division in 2006 and had their 2005 and 2006 titles taken away when investigators ruled that then general manager Moggi was trying to pick favourable referees as part of the match-fixing scandal.

The Turin club are back in Serie A, lying second midway through the season, and no longer have any connection with Moggi.

A host of witnesses were called to give evidence at the Gea trial last year, including Italy coach Lippi, Juve's French striker David Trezeguet and England coach Fabio Capello.

Capello was accused by prosecutor Luca Palamara of withholding information from the trial and an investigation was launched into the former Juve boss.

(Writing by Mark Meadows, Editing by Clare Fallon)

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