Can you ever imagine going to jail for swimming? It even becomes harder to imagine when the house where the swimming pool is located is your own property. But this is the unfortunate case of former Italy and Juventus defender, Fabio Cannavaro. The 2006 World Cup winner with Italy and FIFA Balon d’Or winner is in serious trouble for swimming in his own property.
The 41-year-old, who captained Italy to football’s top prize in 2006 – has been jailed for 10 months, after going for a dip in a pool on a property from which he was banned.
According to prosecutor Luigi Cannavale, Cannavaro, brother Paolo and wife Daniela Arenoso, went for a swim in the villa’s pool which is in violation to a court order, issued during a probe into alleged planning permission violations.
Cannavaro, who is considered one of the greatest defenders of his time, has enjoyed a rather illustrious career, playing for Parma, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid before retiring in 2011. Cannavaro was the captain of the 2006 World Cup winning squad of Italy and also won the Balon d’Or in the very same year. He became only the third defender to win the coveted Balon d’Or award after the likes of Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer.
In a career spanning close to a couple of decades, the defender won the Serie A, La Liga, UEFA Cup along with several other trophies. The highlight of his career, however, was when he led Italy to World Cup glory and then won the Balon d’Or in the same year. He was also awarded the 2006 FIFA World Cup Silver Ball Award.
After spending last summer as a World Cup pundit on British TV screens, Cannavaro has launched his managerial career at Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande.
However, Cannavaro has not set foot inside a jail cell, after he launched an appeal along with his brother and wife, which automatically suspended the sentence until a final judgment is made.
The authorities prosecuted the footballer for allegedly not getting planning permission for works on the property. He was cleared of that charge, but convicted of entering a property illegally.
It has been reported that Cannavaro’s company Fd Service owes over £750,000 in unpaid taxes. The Italian Agency of Revenue has reportedly claimed that FD Service underpaid on Corporation Tax, Regional Tax and VAT between 2005-10.
In October, authorities in Naples seized almost £730,000 of goods linked to former world player of the year and his wife, as well as a €180,000 yacht.
Cannavaro is the latest in a long line of sports stars investigated in Italy for tax evasion, with previous cases focusing on Diego Maradona, Valentino Rossi and Alberto Tomba.