Italian police have arrested 12 leading Juventus hardline fans as part of a major investigation into violence and extortion linked to match ticket sales.
Police said the suspects are accused of criminal association, aggravated extortion, money laundering and violence.
The arrests were made after a year-long probe centered on the alleged blackmail of ticketing officials by the “ultras”, who wanted cut-price blocks of tickets they could sell to fellow fans.
According to reports, they began threatening to sing racist chants during matches which would lead to the club being fined and possibly having points deducted after Juventus stopped distributing blocks of tickets for resale in 2017.
Police said the hardcore groups had set up a widespread criminal strategy to restore lost favours.
In a police statement, those arrested included the heads of the Drughi, Tradizione-Antichi Valori, Viking, Nucleo 1985 and Quelli … di via Filadelfia groups.
Officers were carrying out 39 search warrants targeting those arrested and other suspects, with the help of police from cities across northern and central Italy, from Alessandria to Bergamo, Florence, Genoa, and Milan.