Soccer-UEFA opens investigation into Juventus over potential breaches of rules

FILE PHOTO: Flags with UEFA logo are seen in Nyon

(Reuters) - The UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) has opened a formal investigation into Juventus for potential breaches of the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play rules, European soccer's governing body said on Thursday.

Prosecutors in Turin, where the Juventus club is based, have been investigating the group's accounting and statements made to financial markets over the past three years.

They have been looking into the values ascribed to player transfers between clubs and whether, as stated, salaries were sacrificed during the COVID-19 pandemic or simply deferred.

Juventus said on Wednesday that the club did not believe it had done anything wrong and would defend its interests with sporting and legal bodies.

Andrea Agnelli stepped down as Juventus chairman earlier this week, resigning along with the rest of the board.

Earlier this year, Juventus was among eight clubs that settled with UEFA after failing to comply with break-even requirements last season.

"In the event that, after conclusion of this investigation, the club's financial situation was significantly different from that assessed by the CFCB at the time the settlement agreement was concluded... the CFCB reserves the right to terminate the settlement agreement," UEFA said

UEFA added that it could take legal steps it may deem appropriate and impose disciplinary measures in accordance with the UEFA CFCB procedural rules.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)