Friday, 10 August 2007

France apologise to Azzurri

The French Football Federation has apologised to Italy after coach Raymond Domenech accused them of match-fixing.

Domenech caused shockwaves when he openly claimed in an interview with ‘Le Parisien’ that the Azzurrini had "bought" the referee during an Under-21 Sydney Olympics qualifier against France in 2000.

"Domenech’s words were representative only of his personal opinion," assured FFF chief Jean-Pierre Escalettes. "I am certain that the San Siro match will take place in a sporting atmosphere, just as the game between our two nations in September last year in Paris."

The statements ahead of the Euro 2008 qualifier on September 8 have stirred up an already tense situation and there are fears there could be repercussions between the fans.

Escalettes is also concerned at UEFA President Michel Platini’s warning that Domenech must either come up with proof of these accusations or face a penalty.

The French Federation President personally rang his Italian counterpart at the FIGC, Giancarlo Abete, to offer his apology and assure that Domenech did not represent the FFF.

In doing so, they have effectively abandoned their Coach to the legal ramifications of his comments.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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