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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Italian FA under emergency rule
Juve fans celebrate their 29th league title
Juve fans were hailing a 29th title on Sunday but face disgrace now
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has been placed under administration in a response to the match-fixing scandal that has stunned the country.

Former senator Guido Rossi was named on Tuesday as "extraordinary commissioner" of the beleaguered governing body.

The 75-year-old Rossi is expected to introduce a raft of new legislation to clean up Italian football's reputation.

Four teams, including champions Juventus, are under investigation for match-fixing and illegal betting.

Rossi, a sports law expert, was previously in charge of the Italian stock market's regulator Consob.

His appointment follows a week that has seen FIGC president Franco Carraro and vice-president Innocenzo Mazzini resign amid allegations that the governing body had allowed Juve to choose referees for their games.

And on Sunday Juve's general manager Luciano Moggi, the man at the centre of the scandal, quit ahead of his grilling by prosecutors in Rome on Monday.

I've known Luciano Moggi for 40 years - I don't have anything to hide about my relationship with him
Giuseppe Pisanu
Interior Minister
The Italian media on Tuesday published further intercepted telephone conversations between Moggi and football officials.

But the most damning involved calls between the Juve boss and outgoing Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu.

According to the transcripts, Moggi tried to pressure the politician to allow games to go ahead despite the imminent death of Pope John Paul II.

Juventus, who are owned by the powerful Agnelli family that also controls car manufacturer Fiat, were scheduled to play against a Fiorentina team that had two players suspended and two others injured. The game was postponed when the pope died.

In an earlier call, Pisanu asked Moggi to help third-division Torres, a club based in Pisanu's native Sardinia.

On Tuesday Pisanu expressed his annoyance that wiretaps "of no penal relevance" had been published and said: "I've known Luciano Moggi for 40 years and I don't have anything to hide about my relationship with him."

As well as Juventus, leading clubs AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio are also being investigated for alleged match-fixing and the manipulation of referee assignments.

Juve and Italy star Buffon has been questioned about illegal betting
Juve and Italy star Buffon has been questioned about illegal betting
Among those called to give evidence in Rome on Tuesday are AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, Inter coach Roberto Mancini, Serie A president Adriano Galliani and former referee Pierluigi Collina. The four are not under investigation but are being interviewed as "persons who may have knowledge of events".

And magistrates in Naples have launched a related investigation into illegal betting.

This probe is concentrating on the possible rigging of 20 games two seasons ago - all but one in Serie A. Among the 41 people under investigation is Juve and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

The financial markets have been giving Juventus shares a hammering ever since the story broke.

As well as Moggi, the entire Juve board has resigned and with the focus of the investigation concentrated on the club the Turin giants face relegation to Italy's second flight next season if found guilty.

The Milan stock exchange suspended trading in Juve shares on Tuesday for the second day in succession when they slid a further 10% in value. Juve's market value has now fallen by over 40m, or 20%, in the last week.

Experts predict that Juve, Italy's most popular club, will lose at least 80m if they are relegated and stripped of their title and Champions League place.

Juventus, known as "La Vecchia Signora" (The Old Lady), won their 29th Serie A title on Sunday after a thrilling finish to the season. A 2-0 win over Reggina saw them pip rivals AC Milan to the championship for the second straight season.

In the last major football scandal to hit Italy, AC Milan and Lazio were relegated to Serie B in 1980 after an investigation into match-fixing and illegal betting.




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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES:
UPI Italian soccer hit by scandal - 1 hr ago
Sky News New Boss To Clean Up Italian Football - 2 hrs ago
Daily Express Italy Federation facing emergency administration - 6 hrs ago
FOXSports.com Former senator nominated to clean up Italian soccer - 6 hrs ago
Guardian Unlimited Italy Federation facing emergency administration - 7 hrs ago


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