Former Birkirkara and Juventus striker Fabrizio Miccoli has been jailed for mafia-style extortion.

The 38-year-old Italian striker, who last played for Birkirkara when extortion charges were already pending, was jailed for three-and-a-half years after being convicted of aggravated extortion in cooperation with the son of a Mafia boss.

According to the prosecution, Miccoli, a former Palermo captain, paid Mauro Lauricella, the son of an alleged mafioso, to recover €12,000.

The accusations date back to between 2010 and 2012, but Miccoli’s lawyer has rejected the accusations and says that they will appeal.

Miccoli denied knowing anything about Lauricella’s mafia links during the trial.

He’s a complete stranger to any of these accusations, and we’ll try to prove it in the appeals process

He had been investigated for over two years on suspicion of extortion when he was signed by Birkirkara FC.

He spent a year playing for Birkirkara.

When contacted, Dr Delia said: “I have always believed in the principle that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, while there were public claims against Miccoli at the time, there was no reason for not signing him with Birkirkara FC.”

Miccoli has always denied the charges against him, stating that he didn’t know of Lauricella’s alleged connection to the mafia.

“Miccoli is very angry and sad, because he knows he’s innocent.

“He’s a complete stranger to any of these accusations, and we’ll try to prove it in the appeals process,” his lawyers told reporters soon after the judgment was handed down.