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Friday, May 19, 2006

Lippi: I didn’t take Moggi orders

Italy Coach Marcello Lippi was interrogated today and insisted he did not take orders from Luciano Moggi.

“Everything is alright and I am relaxed. From now on, I will focus only on the Italy squad,” commented the tactician as he left the public prosecutor’s office in Rome.

Lippi was interrogated for over three hours as part of the on-going investigation into the influence of former Juventus director general Moggi and talent agency GEA World. “I answered the questions that public prosecutors Luca Palamara and Maria Cristina Palaia posed and was there as a witness,” he added.

There were claims in the Press that Moggi had ‘ordered’ Lippi to choose GEA-represented players for the Azzurri and to rest Juventus stars for friendly games. However, it’s reported Lippi told the public prosecutors he received pressure from many different agents, directors and clubs, but that he always made his own decisions.

There were even some suggestions in the Italian media this week that if Lippi’s part in the investigation became stronger, he would be sacked ahead of the World Cup, drafting in either Giovanni Trapattoni or Milan’s Carlo Ancelotti as an emergency measure, but today’s statements have made that very much a remote possibility.

Meanwhile, ‘Calciopoli’ continues to roll heads, as today the chief of the FIGC investigations committee Italo Pappa resigned. “The continual attacks on my office, which I have the honour and the privilege to represent, and the undignified spin that some newspapers have put on events to completely change the reality of the situation, have forced me to make this painful decision,” he said in a statement. Pappa has been working within the Federation for 31 years in various roles and joins FIGC President Franco Carraro and Vice-President Innocenzo Mazzini in tending his resignation.

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