Sunday, September 10, 2006

Moggi "was protecting Juve"

Disgraced director general Luciano Moggi went on television today to insist he was only trying to protect Juventus from the “real powers” in football.

“My mistake was in trying to protect Juventus,” explained the transfer guru at the centre of the scandal. “For nine years this club didn’t win anything in Italy and now they’ll go back to that record, because the real system was not the one people might think.”

Moggi’s wiretapped telephone conversations with high-ranking officials in the FIGC and Referees’ Association (AIA) were the reason Juve were demoted to Serie B with a 17-point penalty, but he insists he did nothing wrong. “All I ever did was ask questions to check that the best referees were in place and I don’t think that is sporting fraud. It’s true, I made phone calls, just like many others did. Where are the rules barring conversation?”

Banned from taking a job in football as a result of the trial, Moggi has now been interviewed by a series of television companies in a bid to clear his name. “I have understood that the public knows what happened, that I did nothing wrong. When it comes to wiretapped telephone calls, you have to do a complete job and not just for one person or a certain percentage of these conversations.”

Juventus are now in Serie B and, while their appeal could see the 17-point penalty reduced, Moggi believes there were power games at work far stronger than his own. “Something happened in the trial to prevent me from defending myself. Juve’s lawyer also made a mistake in accepting Serie B with a penalty. Gianni Agnelli hired me and unfortunately he is no longer with us. If he had been here, all of this wouldn’t have happened.”

The legendary figures of the Agnelli family, Gianni and his brother Umberto, died in recent years and it’s widely believed that the club has lost its way without their leadership.


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