Ex-Palermo man Fabrizio Miccoli faces jail time over 'mafia-style blackmail'

Former Palermo and Italy forward Fabrizio Miccoli could be jailed for four years after being accused of "mafia-style blackmail" to settle a debt seven years ago.

The 37-year-old, who ended his career in 2015 after a brief spell with Maltese club Birkirkara, is accused of having approached the son of a mafia boss in a bid to recoup the sum of €12,000 he said was owed to a friend by a Palermo nightclub.

Mauro Lauricella, the son of reported mafia boss Antonino Lauricella, was absolved in a similar blackmail case, but was charged for violent bodily harm as part of the trial which also involves Miccoli.

According to a report in Gazzetta dello Sport, Miccoli has denied knowing that Lauricella had links to organised crime, but the state prosecutor has ordered a four-year sentence for the former footballer suspected of blackmail.

The alleged crimes took place in 2010 and 2011, when Miccoli, who was capped 10 times by Italy, was playing for Palermo. The final sentence is expected in July.