Sunday, 19 August 2007

Domenech's Italian "injustice"

France coach Raymond Domenech continues to stir up controversy with more match-fixing allegations against Italy.

The tactician has been ordered by UEFA to come up with evidence after he claimed Italy "bought the referee" in an Under-21 match against France in 1999.

He named that specific encounter, which ended 2-1 for the Azzurrini in extra time, but now seems to be changing his position ever so slightly into a more general accusation.

"My words were probably a little misused in that interview," Domenech told French television station TF1. "However, I confirm what I said: I did not invent anything by saying those things. In Italy they know full well that this is the case.

"I am not the one who demoted Juventus to Serie B or take points off Milan. In Serie A there is a problem tied to referees and they certainly won’t discover that thanks to my comments."

This is an overview of the Calciopoli scandal that hit Italian football last year, but it was always a matter between clubs and did not extend to UEFA or FIFA level.

Domenech did try to tie the two together to explain why his talented France squad lost in that Under-21 qualifier for the Sydney Olympics.

"That Italy-France game from 1999 has always left within me an enormous sense of injustice."

He will have to present his dossier of evidence backing up these accusations to UEFA, but probably not before Les Bleus face Italy in a crunch Euro 2008 qualifier at San Siro on September 8.

"I hope it can all be resolved as soon as possible. The Italians don’t want it over yet, as they are building up this story to fire up the crowd ahead of the September 8 game," added Domenech.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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