Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ref designator: Inter worse than Juve

Former refereeing designator Paolo Bergamo claims many more clubs should’ve been punished in the Calciopoli scandal – including Inter.

“Someone picked the wiretap recordings they wanted released and threw away others that didn’t contribute to their final aims,” he told QN newspaper.

The scandal erupted in May when leaked telephone conversations were printed in the press showing officials from several sides urging ‘protection’ from refereeing errors or protesting about mistakes.

“Inter were the ones who complained more than anyone. They suspected everything, as there were a lot of referees they didn’t want assigned to their games, while the draws didn’t please them. Juventus and Milan scared them.”

The Nerazzurri were handed the 2005-06 Scudetto title after the trial, which saw Juve demoted to Serie B and Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina docked points.

Yet Bergamo – whose phone conversations were at the centre of the scandal – insists there was a precise intent to damage some clubs more than others.

“How come in the trial there were only some of the conversations and not others? I hope the investigation outside the football justice system can go more in depth and clarify. I doubt only ex-referee Massimo De Santis and I were spied on.”

Bound to cause further controversy, Bergamo pointed the finger at recently deceased Inter President Giacinto Facchetti.

“I hate to say it because of our friendship since the 1960s and his recent passing, but Facchetti called me more than anyone and Inter complained the most. He was always unhappy and I understood his irritation, as Inter struggled to win. Roma also rang up. They didn’t want some referees and were much warmer to others. It was a superstition issue with them.”

Ex-Juventus director general Luciano Moggi’s phone calls were not only published in the media, but even released on radio stations in some cases ahead of the trial.

“I’ve known Luciano for over 30 years. I am still honoured to be his friend and, if he made mistakes, he’ll answer to them. He mentioned a few referees when we were setting up the designations, but Moggi wasn’t the one deciding, it was the draw.”

Bergamo also slammed the figures in charge of the Calciopoli trial – former FIGC Commissioner Guido Rossi, Cesare Ruperto and Saverio Borrelli.

“These three made some important mistakes. They entered a world they didn’t know, one that had rapports, friendships, teasing and ways of communicating that go round without ever breaking the barrier of fair play between those who work in this sport. I ask Borrelli for a public confrontation about this whole issue.”


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