Monday, September 18, 2006

Rossi quits as FIGC chief

Guido Rossi has resigned as Federal Commissioner of the Italian Football Federation, along with his assistants Vito Gamberale, Paolo Nicoletti and Demetrio Albertini.

Rossi was appointed to lead the Federation after chief Franco Carraro left the FIGC in May, when the match-fixing scandal broke, but was also chosen as President of Telecom Italia on Friday – causing discomfort amongst many clubs.

The Commissioner and his staff met the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) chief Gianni Petrucci, who confirmed that a conflict of interests problem existed which would not allow Rossi to continue in his job at the FIGC.

“Rossi and his Vice-Commissioners suggested the conditions necessary for them to hand out a structural renovation of Italian football,” read an official FIGC statement during the night. “After several meetings with the institutions involved, the Commissioner and his staff have verified that the circumstances do not allow them to continue in their job and they have therefore decided to resign.”

Reports suggest that Rossi and his staff had asked to remain in their place until the end of October – in order to finalise the new football regulations – and wouldn’t have pushed for a new mandate, but Petrucci ruled out such a possibility.

Another man must now be found to lead the crisis-hit FIGC, as Gamberale was one of the main candidates to replace Rossi. Petrucci may be forced to temporarily substitute the resigning Commissioner himself, although he does not seem keen on the option, but a power vacuum in this delicate phase is inconceivable. The names of Gianni Letta and Raffaele Pagnozzi – who was Extraordinary Commissioner from 1996 to 1997 – have also been suggested as possible alternatives and the CONI council will discuss the FIGC’s future in a meeting on Wednesday.


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