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Moggi resigning as Juventus general manager

Written by: Staff
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ROME, May 14 (Reuters) Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi today said he was resigning from his post so that he could defend himself from accusations at the heart of a scandal which has rocked Italian soccer.

''From tomorrow I will have resigned as general manager of Juventus, from this evening the world of football is no longer my world,'' an emotional Moggi told reporters after Juventus had secured the league title for the second year in a row.

''Now I will think only about defending myself from all the malice that been said about me,'' added Moggi who is regarded as the most powerful club official in Italian football.

The scandal, which has led to a series of resignations and has resulted in 41 people being placed under investigation by public prosecutors, followed the publication of intercepted telephone conversations featuring Moggi.

In the phone calls, Moggi discussed refereeing appointments with senior football federation officials during the 2004-05 season and also bragged of locking a referee in the changing room after a game.

Moggi, who has been in his position at Juventus since 1994, appeared live on television but said he would only read a statement and not answer questions.

''I ask you for a courtesy, don't ask me any questions because I don't have the desire or the strength. I don't have the soul for it, they have killed it,'' said Moggi before announcing his resignation.

Moggi is due to meet with public prosecutors in Rome on Monday to face questions about the telephone taps and the role in the game of the company GEA, an agency for nearly 200 players and coaches, which is run by his son Alessandro.

REUTERS SY BD2352

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