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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 July 2006, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Relegation call for Italian four
Former Juve general manager Luciano Moggi
Former Juve supremo Moggi has stayed away from the trial so far
The Italian Football Federation's prosecutor has called for all four clubs at the centre of the match-fixing scandal to be thrown out of Serie A.

Stefano Palazzi called for Juventus to drop two divisions and for AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio to drop one.

He also asked for points penalties to be imposed and that Juve's 2005 and 2006 titles be stripped from the club.

And on a bad day for Juve, coach Fabio Capello resigned, paving the way for a return to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Juve's shares dived on the Milan stock market following Palazzi's comments.

Earlier on Tuesday, the third day of Italy's biggest sports trial, Italian Football Federation (FIGC) official Paolo Bergamo resigned.

Bergamo is one of two officials under suspicion involved in the allocation of referees - his lawyer unsuccessfully argued he was now no longer liable to be tried by a sports tribunal.

MATCH-FIXING PROBE TIMELINE
4 May: Intercepted phone conversations between Juve's Luciano Moggi and Pierluigi Pairetto, a former member of the federation's refereeing commission, published
8 May: FIGC president Franco Carraro resigns
11 May: FIGC vice-president Innocenzo Mazzini and entire Juve board resign
14 May: Juve win title - general manager Luciano Moggi quits
29 June: Football tribunal begins
The trial was initially suspended on Thursday and proceedings were again held up on Monday by another round of arguments over legal procedure.

The sensational events in Rome are taking place as Italy's national team prepare for their World Cup semi-final against Germany.

Thirteen players in the 23-strong Italian squad, including five from Juve, are from the four accused clubs.

The tribunal has been scheduled to run during the remainder of the tournament in Germany and is due to deliver its verdicts before the World Cup final on 9 July.

Lawyers representing five Serie B teams, who hope to be promoted if the squads are relegated, also want to give evidence.

Judges delayed the case so the representatives of Bologna, Lecce, Treviso, Brescia and Messina could have time to prepare.

Football-mad Italy has been gripped by the scandal since it broke in May.

All kinds of things go on in football - what I'm saying is that this is an environment in which you have to protect yourself

Antonio Giraudo
Former Juve chief executive
It followed the publication of intercepted telephone conversations in which former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi discussed refereeing appointments with senior FIGC officials during the 2004-05 season.

Other officials on trial include Milan vice president Adriano Galliani, Fiorentina owner Diego Della Valle and Lazio President Claudio Lotito. All have denied any wrongdoing.

Chief judge Cesare Ruperto opened the trial on Thursday by reading out the names of the accused to check if they were present.

Moggi, who resigned after Juve claimed their 29th "scudetto" in May, did not attend, while Galliani, the highest-ranking Milan official involved, sat in the first row of the improvised courtroom.

Former Juve chief executive Antonio Giraudo was one of the first to speak on Tuesday.

"All kinds of things go on in football: people give Rolexes to referees, people fix the accounts. What I'm saying is that this is an environment in which you have to protect yourself," he said.

Palazzi asked for Giraudo to be handed a five-year ban plus a 5,000 euro (3,500) fine for every instance of sporting fraud.

Juve fans show their support for Gianluca Pessotto
Juve fans show their support outside Pessotto's hospital in Turin
He asked for the same punishment for Moggi, brothers Diego and Andrea Della Valle, the owner and president of Fiorentina, and for Claudio Lotito, the chairman of Lazio.

But former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire who owns AC Milan, said he was "indignant" at the prosecutor's request to relegate his club and said Milan should be handed Juve's last two titles if the Turin team were found guilty.

"Milan have never had refereeing favours, on the contrary, they've been victims of refereeing favours in favour of other clubs," he said.

Meanwhile, former Juve midfielder Gianluca Pessotto - who is not implicated in the scandal - is recovering in hospital after falling from a second-floor window at the club's headquarters.

Pessotto, who was appointed team manager in the wake of the scandal, is in a serious but stable condition.

Eight referees face charges, including Massimo de Santis, who had been set to officiate at the World Cup but was withdrawn after being named in the investigation.

The FIGC, which appointed the tribunal, said it expects to have completed its work before 9 July, with appeals due to be heard by 20 July.

That gives the FIGC time before a deadline of 27 July to submit the names of teams to compete in next season's Champions League and Uefa Cup competitions.

If they were relegated, Juventus, AC Milan and Fiorentina would miss the Champions League and Lazio the Uefa Cup.

If they were only docked points next season, they would still be able to compete.

The football trial is not a criminal proceeding, but prosecutors in Naples, Rome, Parma and Turin have launched separate investigations which could lead to criminal charges against some of those accused in the tribunal.

SEE ALSO
Capello quits troubled Juventus
04 Jul 06 |  Europe
Italian football's tangled web
18 May 06 |  Europe
Italians losing faith in football
27 May 06 |  In Depth
Italian football in crisis
01 Jun 06 |  Europe
Italy pull together
13 Jun 06 |  Italy


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