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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Moggi problems with juventus and refrees

ROME (AP) - UEFA and Italian soccer league officials will investigate allegations that Juventus general director Luciano Moggi arranged to have certain referees assigned to his team's games.Italian media have printed extensive excerpts of phone calls between Moggi and refereeing official Pierluigi Pairetto from last season in which the pair allegedly discussed match officials assigned for Serie A and Champions League games.
UEFA said Friday it had opened a disciplinary inquiry into the case and had verbally reprimanded Pairetto for disclosing confidential information.
The Italian federation also will conduct an inquiry.
"Sporting justice will be made with diligence, timeliness, serenity and rigor," federation president Franco Carraro said.
"Errors can happen, what's important is that we uncover them and apply the necessary sanctions," he added.
Pairetto assigned referees for Italian league matches last season and was one of three vice chairmen of UEFA's referees committee for the 2004-06 period.
Thursday's Gazzetta dello Sport detailed a Sept. 1, 2004 phone call in which Pairetto called Moggi to discuss Juventus' Champions League game against Ajax in Amsterdam, which Juve won 1-0 two weeks later.
"I got a great referee for the game in Amsterdam," Pairetto said, according to the transcripts.
After Pairetto told Moggi that Swiss referee Urs Meier would direct the game, Moggi responded, "That's great!"
Pairetto then said, "I just wanted to tell you that, you see how I remember you."
Pairetto's UEFA term expires June 30, and the Italian federation has nominated former star referee Pierluigi Collina to replace him on the European board.
Several Serie A games are also under investigation.
Pairetto has denied any wrongdoing.
As part of a club-wide media boycott, Moggi has not spoken publicly recently. Juventus chairman Antonio Giraudo, who has also been implicated in the scandal, held a news conference in Turin on Friday to defend the club.
"I've read that our silence is the product of fear, but that's an affirmation which is absolutely false," Giraudo said, according to the ANSA news agency.
The phone excerpts were provided to soccer authorities by the same Turin prosecutors who investigated Juventus for alleged doping violations between 1994-98. Juventus was acquitted in the doping case but prosecutors have appealed to Italy's highest court.


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