Monday, May 22, 2006

Lippi backed as Azzurri boss

Coach Marcello Lippi will be leading Italy at the 2006 World Cup Finals, it has been confirmed.

There have been suggestions over recent days that Lippi could resign, or be forced to quit, given his presence in a number of intercepted telephone calls that have come to the attention of magistrates investigating the GEA World football agency. But Lippi, whose agent son Davide has links with the organisation, has today been backed by new Italian Football Federation commissioner Guido Rossi.

“There is total and absolute faith, from myself and the CONI President [Italian Olympic Committee chief Gianni Petrucci] in the squad and the Coach,” Rossi said at Italy’s training base on Monday. “I have never had any doubts with regard to Lippi’s position,” added the man handed the unenviable task of cleaning up calcio. “It would have been utter madness to point the finger of blame to Lippi in this case, ignoring the real people responsible for this situation. There are conflicts of interest here, but I have nothing to lament Lippi about. You can’t accuse anyone of wrongdoing until there is real proof of it.”


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