Thursday, 8 April 2010

FIGC guarantee "equal treatment"

The President of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) Giancarlo Abete has guaranteed "equal treatment for all" following new revelations about the 2006 Calciopoli referee-influencing scandal.

Giancarlo AbeteAbete addressed the issue at its Federal Council meeting at the FIGC's Via Gregorio Allegri headquarters in Rome today, a day after Juventus - the club hardest hit by the scandal - issued a statement seeking fair treatment for all parties involved.

Italian media have for several days printed alleged phone-tap conversations linking Internazionale and other clubs to the scandal.

Inter were awarded the 2006 Serie A title after Juventus were stripped of the honour, as well as the 2005 Scudetto, and demoted to Serie B due to their alleged central involvement in the affair.

Federation officials and Prosecutor Stefano Palazzi are now awaiting developments in a criminal court case in Naples, which is set to continue next week, as they consider opening a new sporting investigation.

New phone interceptions from pre-2006 emerged in recent days as part of the defense of Luciano Moggi, with the former Juventus sporting director arguing that most of the teams and their officials were in contact with refereeing officials and designators and it was normal.

"The Figc is carefully following the developments of the legal proceedings, with the aim of promoting the greatest clarity," said Abete.

"In terms of the regulations and discipline, the Federal justice agencies are responsible and they carry out their activities independently in accordance with the statutes and regulations of the Italian Football Federation.

"After the hearing on April 13 we will evaluate further actions to undertake. We will always follow all the events with the utmost rigor and respect."

Commenting on the decision to award Inter the title in 2006 and the possibility of having that revoked, Abete added: "In 2006 the decision to award the Scudetto to Inter was taken by then Italian Football Federation special commissioner Guido Rossi, but there was the sporting justice's decision that had changed the Serie A table.

"The starting point for a possible revision of the case remains solely in the hands of the sport's justice."

Following the latest revelations, including conversations between former refereeing designator Paolo Bergamo and Inter President Massimo Moratti and the late Giacinto Facchetti, Juventus released an official statement calling for fair treatment on Wednesday.

"In all due respect of the legal proceedings currently in progress, Juventus will carefully evaluate together with its legal aides the relevance of the new evidence introduced during the proceedings in Naples," read the statement.

"This is in order to guarantee, in both sporting and non-sporting jurisdictions, and as it has always done, the most careful safe-guarding of its history and of its supporters.

"Juventus believe that the institutions and the justice system will assure equal treatment for all, as was requested by the club and its defence lawyers during the sporting trial in 2006."

Inter President Moratti was asked for his reaction to Juve's statement: "It's their business," he said.

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 / FIGC / Juventus / Inter

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