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Last Updated: Friday, 13 April 2007, 15:36 GMT 16:36 UK
New match-fixing charges in Italy
Italian football club badges
The scandal has affected some of Italy's biggest clubs
Investigators looking into a football match-fixing scandal in Italy have said they have evidence to charge 48 people, including eight match officials.

Former director of Juventus Luciano Moggi is accused of being at the centre of a network which tried to manipulate matches in favour of the bigger clubs.

Another top team, Messina, is also implicated, and has been warned its sporting director will face charges.

The results of as many as 39 matches are now believed to have been fixed.

Secret conversations

The BBC's Mark Duff, in Milan, says the list of "usual suspects" includes two of the officials responsible for appointing referees and linesmen - and the former vice president of the Italian football federation.

Juventus store in Turin
Juventus were relegated following the scandal

But news of the number of affected matches and the implication of eight match officials is surprising, our correspondent says.

Up to now only one match official had been suspended for his part in the scandal, that has become known as Calciopoli.

The scandal broke last May after the publication of secretly-recorded phone conversations between Mr Moggi and other senior figures, including match officials.

As a result, Juventus were relegated and stripped of their 2005 and 2006 championship titles; and four other teams - AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina - were docked points going into the current season.

The Italian Referees Association says it will wait to receive official notification before deciding whether to suspend the referees and linesmen who are under investigation.

Current Messina president Pietro Franza has said the club "always operated in absolute transparency".

Messina sporting director Mario Fabiani has denied any wrongdoing.


SEE ALSO
Italian football's tangled web
25 Jul 06 |  Europe
The worst scandal of them all
25 Jul 06 |  Europe

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