Sunday, May 14, 2006

Berlusconi: Give back our titles

Milan patron Silvio Berlusconi demands the ‘return’ of the Juventus Scudetti under investigation and Franco Carraro warns this title is only provisional.

“We demand the return of the two Scudetti that belong to us,” said the former Prime Minister and media mogul this afternoon. “I don’t think I can be any clearer than that. We are sick of being the victims of injustice.”

A police investigation into match-fixing allegations and collusion with referees is sweeping through Italian football and could potentially see clubs docked points, stripped of titles or even relegated. While these scenarios are unlikely and it should be noted that at this stage no charges have been made, it casts a shadow over Juve’s celebrations for their 29th Serie A Championship.

“The season ends today and the winner is assigned a provisional Scudetto,” explained former FIGC President Carraro. “The sporting justice system will investigate and reach its conclusions, but this is not just because of the events from this week. It’s the way it always works, as the results are only ratified after a few days.” Carraro resigned from his post at the head of the Italian Federation earlier this week after the publication of telephone conversation transcripts between Juve director general Luciano Moggi and several high-ranking officials. “It’s only right that everything be burned down and started from scratch, as it will take years to wash away what has happened,” he continued. “I realised that public opinion was very strong and thought it impossible for a figure to be head of the FA who was the subject of so much debate, both inside and outside the sport. I have always considered myself an honest man, but as President it was my responsibility to ensure everything ran smoothly. I was the only person to ask for a commission into GEA’s practices, but after a year the investigation was closed without evidence of wrong-doing.”

Carraro turned against referee Gianluca Paparesta, who was interrogated by public prosecutors this week after allegations Juventus director general Luciano Moggi locked him in his office as ‘punishment’ for disallowing the Bianconeri’s goal in the 2-1 defeat at Reggina last season. “Paparesta has disappointed me and failed to do his duty, as he should’ve reported this incident. I heard that he said it was because he’d never referee again if he talked. How can he say such a thing, as his father was a respected referee and he has been in this sport for a long time? As for Moggi, what saddened me was his air of arrogance and impunity.”

There are reports that the investigation could take so long that next season, scheduled to kick off on August 27, won’t actually be able to start until October 1. In order to achieve that, the Serie A table could again be reduced from 20 teams to 18.


Post a Comment

<< Home