Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Calciopoli scandal resurfaces

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) officials are awaiting developments in a criminal court case in Naples as they consider opening a new investigation into the Calciopoli referee-influencing scandal that rocked the national sport four years ago.

Luciano MoggiFor several days, Italian media have printed alleged phone-tap conversations linking Internazionale to the scandal.

Inter were awarded the 2006 Serie A title after Juventus were stripped of the honor and demoted to Serie B due to their role in the scandal.

The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper reported today that FIGC President Giancarlo Abete and Federation Prosecutor Stefano Palazzi met on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

It's unclear, however, if the statute of limitations in the case has expired.

The new phone taps came to light as part of the defense of former Juventus sporting director Luciano Moggi in the Naples case, with Moggi arguing that all the teams were in contact with refereeing officials.

In the purported conversations Inter President Massimo Moratti is heard talking with the-then referee selector Paolo Bergamo about the match officials for a Coppa Italia game that the Nerazzurri went on to win 3-1 over Bologna in January 2005.

Moratti rejected the new allegations as "ridiculous and shameful."

Another former Juventus executive, Antonio Giraudo, already has received a three-year sentence from the Naples court on charges of criminal association aimed at committing sports fraud.

Moggi and Giraudo were banned from football for five years by a sports court for influencing the outcome of matches. They deny wrongdoing.

Juventus were stripped of the 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles and demoted to the second tier with a nine-point penalty. The Bianconeri immediately won promotion back to Serie A.

The scandal was the biggest corruption case in the history of Italian football. Besides Juve, three other big clubs - AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina - were penalised with points penalties, as were Reggina and Arezzo.

Source: AP

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