Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Moggi goes on Calciopoli offensive

The four-year-old Calciopoli scandal in Italy could flare up again because of maneuvers by former Juventus director general Luciano Moggi in his criminal trial.

Luciano MoggiDefense lawyers for Moggi today requested that 75 additional phone-tap conversations be admitted as evidence in the trial, and prosecutors did not oppose the move.

The additional phone-tap conversations, printed in the Italian media over the last week, allegedly link Inter and other clubs to the scandal.

"And it's not over now," Moggi said, pulling out phone-tap transcripts from a folder as he addressed the media after the court session.

"In the next hearings we will bring out other new conversations that involve Inter and AC Milan."

However, Naples prosecutor Giuseppe Narducci said that "the fact that a person talks on the phone with another person can't be judged as illegal."

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

Former Milan coach and current Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is scheduled to take the stand in the next hearing on April 20.

Italian Football Federation officials are awaiting developments in the Naples case as they consider opening a new sports investigation into the scandal.

The overall theme of Moggi's defense is that all the teams were in contact with refereeing officials.

In the purported conversations - printed in the Gazzetta dello Sport, as well as other papers - Inter President Massimo Moratti is heard talking with referee selector Paolo Bergamo about the match officials for Coppa Italia game that Inter went on to win 3-1 over Bologna in January 2005.

Moratti rejected the new allegations as "ridiculous and shameful," while Bergamo maintains that he "always spoke regularly with all the club presidents."

Moratti has also signaled he would be willing to take the stand in the Naples trial.

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 relegated to the second tier with a nine-point penalty. The Turin giants immediately won promotion back to Serie A but have struggled to compete against Inter.

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, as were Reggina and Arezzo.

Source: AP

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