Rome (AFP) – Italian prosecutors said on Thursday they suspect Juventus of involvement in Luis Suarez allegedly cheating in an Italian language exam earlier this year.

The test was a first step required for 33-year-old Suarez to receive an Italian passport ahead of a possible transfer from Barcelona to Juve, a move which was subsequently abandoned with the Uruguay forward signing for Atletico Madrid.

The Italian champions would have been unable to recruit Suarez otherwise because they had already reached their quota for non-EU players.

“The investigation allowed us to understand, at the start of September, that the directors of the Turin club made moves, including at the highest level of the institution, to ‘accelerate’ the recognition of Suarez’s Italian citizenship,” prosecutors in Perugia, where Suarez sat the exam, said in a statement.

Directors at the university in Perugia where the test took place are accused of giving Suarez the questions in advance.

On Friday, the prosecutors reiterated the accusation and proposed to suspend the university officials suspected of involvement for eight months.

Days after the probe was opened in September, Juventus’ sporting director Fabio Paratici denied any wrongdoing.