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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Italy angry at rivals' draw
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is distraught at his side's elimination from Euro 2004
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has accused Sweden and Denmark of fixing a 2-2 draw to ensure the Azzurri's elimination from Euro 2004.

"Someone should be ashamed and it's not us," he said after Sweden's late equaliser in Porto rendered Italy's 2-1 win over Bulgaria irrelevant.

"I'm very bitter, I didn't believe this would happen with peoples who are proud of their spirit of fair play."

Buffon could be in trouble with Uefa following his match-fixing claims.

Italian football federation president Franco Carraro is also facing action after echoing Buffon's doubts about the Denmark and Sweden result.

"There is no doubt that the way the Denmark versus Sweden game developed shows that the two teams were aiming for a draw," said Carraro.

You always have it in your own hands from the start in these tournaments - and Italy haven't done well enough to go through
Sweden's Olof Mellberg

"Of course, proof of that is hard to find."

However, Italy manager Giovanni Trapattoni said he had no complaints.

"I have no argument with the result and the federation will not protest against it, absolutely not," he said.

The Italy team face a hostile reception on their return with most of the country's press preferring to direct the criticism at the players rather than any perceived match-fixing by Denmark and Sweden.

"Everyone home," said the Corriere dello Sport.

"Little Italy is out of Euro 2004 and the Danes and Swedes made a mockery of us."

The paper also led the calls for Trapattoni to be replaced by former Juventus boss Marcello Lippi.

The Gazzetta dello Sport accused Trappattoni of producing "the worst Italian team of recent years, even of recent decades."

"We cannot recall an Italy team that was so lacking in ideas and which couldn't score."





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