Serie A news

Moratti vows to fight on

July 6, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti insists he is ready to battle on as demands for the club to hand back their 2006 Serie A title increase.

A Juve fan holds up a banner reading 'I hate Inter'
GettyImagesA Juve fan holds up a banner reading 'I hate Inter'

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There have been growing calls in Italy, not least from the Milan-based Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper, for Inter to relinquish the 2006 Scudetto. The title was awarded to Inter after Juventus and AC Milan, who finished first and second respectively, were stripped of points in the Calciopoli trial.

However, evidence not included in the original trial has since emerged based on wiretapped phone calls made by the late Inter president Giacinto Facchetti. FIGC chief investigator Stefano Palazzi claims Facchetti broke rules to "gain an advantage in the standings, by conditioning the refereeing sector".

Renzo Ulivieri, president of the Coaches' Association, this week urged Inter to "do the noble thing" and give back the title, while former Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli added that the "Scudetto must be revoked".

A decision will be made later this month on whether Inter will be allowed to keep the title, but Moratti has reacted angrily to the press coverage against his club and suggested fans should boycott the Gazzetta.

"I did not expect to be abandoned by friends in our own city by a newspaper that has been waging a long battle against us," Moratti told Inter Channel. "It is against us, which means it is in favour of someone else.

"I was accustomed to reading the pink newspaper, but now unfortunately I'll have to stop because their attack was so determined, harsh and calculated that it would be bad taste for me to keep on suffering in this way.

"This was not simply an opinion piece, but rather a calculated political agenda. They are free to say these things, just as we are free to not buy their paper."

He added: "The Scudetto is almost secondary now - albeit a point we stand firm on. What was totally unexpected was the attack on someone who is no longer here and cannot defend himself.

"I find this in very bad taste, as we all know Giacinto and how honest he was. It was an ugly attack from the institutions. I know we're not used to having many friends in football..."

Moratti also denied suggestions he would walk away should the hearing go against Inter.

"I am ready to battle on for Inter and the fans, which is why the idea of abandoning this club or playing the victim never went through my mind."

Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is hopeful that the title will be given back to the Bianconeri.

"It would be very satisfying to find that Scudetto again, the one we won on the field," he said.

"Some situations emerged where people tried to make it seem as if Juventus only won not because we were better, but because we had certain directors. That is just plain wrong, especially as we are talking about a side that could count on great champions."