Friday, May 26, 2006

Lippi's son investigated

The son of Italy's World Cup coach Marcello Lippi has been put under investigation by magistrates looking into the sports agency he worked for.

The agency, GEA World, which is headed by the son of the former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi, is being investigated by magistrates for "illegal competition with use of threats and violence".

The firm has more than 200 players and coaches on its books. Luciano Moggi is at the centre of the match-fixing storm buffeting the Italian game after telephone transcripts were published of his conversations with leading officials.

Apart from Lippi's son, Davide, magistrates are also investigating Giuseppe De Mita, the son of the former Italian prime minister Ciriaco De Mita, and two others. Others at GEA, including Moggi's son, are already under investigation.

Lippi has faced calls to resign before the World Cup in Germany, which starts on 9 June, after allegations that he was forced by Moggi to select certain players for the national side. Lippi says he never came under pressure over selection and that he never had business dealings with his son while his son was at the agency.

Giancarlo Abete, vice-president of the Italian Football Federation, said the decision by magistrates to investigate Lippi's son did not affect its recent vote of confidence in Lippi.

"We are in a situation in which a storm is going on - there is a situation that gets filled with new elements day after day," Abete said.


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