UEFA President and Juventus legend Michel Platini has backed Italy after France coach Raymond Domenech’s match-fixing allegations.
Les Bleus face Roberto Donadoni’s Azzurri side at the San Siro on September 8 in a crucial Euro 2008 qualifier, but Domenech has increased the tension with some strong words.
The French tactician stated on Thursday that their hardest opponents would be the referee, accusing Italy of bribing officials in the teams’ previous meetings including the 2000 Olympic Games qualifier.
"If Domenech does not submit evidence supporting what he has said he will be punished," the obviously displeased Platini told L’Equipe. "We will send a letter to the French Federation asking for proof of what was claimed. If they fail to submit it we will take action and punish the coach," added Le Roi.
Domenech stated that refereeing is a main concern in games involving Italy, as he believes match-fixing is a common occurence. "If it happens once you have doubts, but there are hidden agreements in Italian football," he declared.
The FIGC opted not to reply to the accusations, stating simply that referees are designated by the international bodies which organise the tournaments and not the Italian Federation.
Source: C4 Football Italia