Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lippi to assist in probe

Italy boss Marcello Lippi will be spoken to by magistrates on Friday as the various probes into the game threaten to disrupt the Azzurri’s World Cup preparations.

Lippi will be interviewed as part of the Rome-based enquiry into the workings of the GEA World football agency. The tactician, whose agent son is also connected to GEA, will only be asked for his informed opinions and is not under investigation himself.

Lippi has been brought into the chaos after a number of telephone calls between himself and former Juventus director general Luciano Moggi were intercepted. Some of the conversations published have suggested that Moggi allegedly tried to influence the tactician in which players to pick, a claim clearly rejected by the former Juve Coach.

"After eight years working together, could you imagine that after I left Juventus he wouldn't call me?" said Lippi. "If they had intercepted all the calls I got you would see that it was not only Juventus directors who call me. I get calls from all the clubs, from their directors and Coaches. "But I have never had any kind of pressure," added Lippi.

Nevertheless, the Italian media are speculating that the Coach could be sensationally replaced on the bench before the World Cup Finals if his situation becomes more complicated. Under-21 boss Claudio Gentile, Milan Coach Carlo Ancelotti and even ex-Azzurri tactician Giovanni Trapattoni are being suggested as possible replacements for Germany 2006. However, there is nothing to suggest at this moment in time that Lippi will not be leading the nation’s World Cup bid.


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