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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 December, 2004, 18:52 GMT
Berlusconi quits as AC president
Silvio Berlusconi
Berlusconi had headed AC Milan for 18 years
Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister of Italy, has ended his long reign as president of AC Milan.

A new law concerning conflict of interest, passed in July, has forced Berlusconi to vacate the role.

Berlusconi has been Milan's president since 1986, winning four European Cups and seven Serie A titles.

Milan said the presidency would remain vacant for the time being, although reports have claimed it will go to Berlusconi's son Piersilvio.

Piersilvio is currently the deputy chairman of his father's media empire Mediaset.

The conflict of interest law prevented Berlusconi, a billionnaire, running any private businesses while in office.

AC Milan say that vice-president Adriano Galliani has been in control of the club since Berlusconi became Italy's leader in 2001, but that has not stopped the prime minister stepping down.

"Of course I'm sad. I'm very sad," Berlusconi said on Tuesday.

Asked to rank his sadness on a scale from 1-10, Berlusconi replied: "Eleven".

He went on: "In any case, in the years I've been president, I've won more than anybody else in the world -- in international championships, that is."

Milan, the defending Italian champions, are currently second in Serie A, four points behind Juventus.

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