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Italy's Football Federation under emergency administration

Written by: Staff

ROME, May 16 : Italy's Football Federation, shaken by match-fixing allegations, suffered further embarrassment today when it was placed under emergency administration.

The country's national Olympic committee (CONI) put Guido Rossi, a former head of the country's stock market regulator, in charge of the federation with a six-month renewable mandate.

''I wish him good luck, he will need it,'' said CONI president Gianni Petrucci. ''Football, our sport, needs to regain credibility.'' Federation president Franco Carraro and his vice-president Innocenzo Mazzini resigned last week.

Rossi, 75, said he planned to introduce new regulations to help clean up Italian soccer.

''We need rules that will be a deterrent and with serious sanctions,'' he told a news conference.

Magistrates in Naples probing telephone intercepts and looking into suspicions of match-fixing have placed 41 people under investigation.

Italian champions Juventus are at the centre of the affair. Their entire board has resigned and they could be stripped of titles and face relegation to Serie B if their officials are found guilty of attempting to influence the outcome of matches.

Juventus won their second successive Serie A title, the 29th in their history, on Sunday. AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina have also come under the scrutiny of investigators along with referees, federation and club officials.

Rossi faces a race against time to conclude the federation's own probe into the affair because the deadline for presenting European soccer's ruling body with the list of clubs for the lucrative Champions League and UEFA Cup is July 27.

''We need to be able to do that,'' said Rossi when asked if the deadline would be met.

Former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi, whose intercepted telephone conversations triggered the scandal, was questioned by prosecutors in Rome yesterday.

Investigators spoke to AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini, former referee Pierluigi Collina and Football League president Adriano Galliani today.

None of this group are under investigation and are being interviewed as 'people who may have knowledge of events'.

''I believe I answered in a prompt and exhaustive manner to the questions the magistrates put to me,'' Galliani told the news agency ANSA.

Trading in Juventus shares was halted for a second day in a row after continuing their fall today.

Juventus was suspended by the Milan exchange shortly after tumbling 10.19 per cent to 1.56 euros at the beginning of trade.


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