Juve have nothing to be sorry for, says Moggi

July 27, 2006

ROME, July 27 (Reuters) - The man at the centre of Italy's match-fixing scandal, former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi, has hit out at the decision of an appeals court earlier this week to confirm the club's relegation to Serie B.

Nicknamed Lucky Luciano for his wily dealings in the transfer market, Moggi said he was disappointed after Juventus were found guilty of conspiring with referees and linesmen to rig matches during the 2004/05 season.

The club will start next season in Serie B on minus 17 points.

'The club has nothing to be sorry for. Its staff have always behaved correctly,' Moggi was quoted as saying in Corriere dello Sport on Thursday.

The scandal began in early May when newspapers published intercepted telephone conversations between Moggi and senior Italian Football Federation (FIGC) officials, discussing refereeing appointments.

Moggi quit his post on the last day of the season then refused to take part in the FIGC investigation or the sports tribunal that followed it, claiming he had become 'extraneous to the world of football'.

Juventus have said they will go to Italy's civil courts in an attempt to clear their name and be reinstated in Serie A.

Two other clubs found guilty - Fiorentina and Lazio - have also promised further legal action after losing their places in next season's European competitions.

Moggi attacked the appeal court's decision to admit the phone taps as evidence and predicted a lengthy legal battle, which could end with the verdicts being overturned.

'It is not finished yet. In fact, it has only just begun and I'm hoping there will be a very different ending. You'll see that I'm right,' he said.

'Meanwhile, it is right that (Juventus chairman Giovanni) Cobolli Gigli continues to fight in all the appropriate courts. That is what I'm going to do as well.

'It is yet to be seen whether they will manage to throw me out of the world of football'.