ROME -- Italy's biggest soccer scandal in a quarter century widened Friday, with police searching the offices of the national soccer federation and four clubs in the top league under investigation for possible game-fixing.
"It is terrible," said Premier Silvio Berlusconi, whose business empire includes the powerful team AC Milan.
The soccer federation said paramilitary police were searching its Rome offices but refused to give details. The ANSA news agency said police seized documents related to an investigation by Naples prosecutors concerning the 2004-05 season.
ANSA said the association of Italian referees also was being searched in connection with accusations that the director general of Juventus tried to influence the choice of game officials.
Juventus, one of the most successful and popular Italian soccer clubs, is owned by the Agnelli family of auto tycoons. Trading in Juventus stock was briefly suspended on the Milan stock exchange after the share price dropped 13 percent shortly after the market opened.
The entire Juventus board resigned Thursday, including managing director Antonio Giraudo and general director Luciano Moggi, who is under investigation in Rome and Naples for allegedly trying to influence referee assignments.
The resignations came three days before the final day of the season and with the World Cup less than a month away. Juventus is going for its second straight league title, needing only one point to clinch.
Naples prosecutor Giovandomenico Lepore said investigators were looking into 20 games from the 2004-05 season -- all but one in the top league, Serie A. Another Naples prosecutor, Giuseppe Narducci said at a news conference that four Serie A clubs were being investigated -- Juventus, Lazio, Milan and Fiorentina.
Prosecutors did not publicly name any people in connection with specific crimes.
At the end of the 1979-80 season, Italy was shaken by a game-fixing scandal that led to AC Milan and Lazio being demoted to Serie B.
Fiorentina said in a statement that the Della Valle family, which owns the team, was certain of the club's "correct conduct."
Lepore said 41 people had been ordered to appear for questioning for suspected criminal association. Two of them are police officers who allegedly revealed information of the probe, and two other police officers suspected of embezzlement, Lepore said. The rest were being investigated for alleged sports fraud, the prosecutor said.
Club officials, federation officials, officials who assign referees to games, referees and a journalist are among those under investigation, Lepore said.
Also, prosecutor Pietro Errede told state TV that investigators in Parma were looking into a suspected betting scandal involving allegedly fixed games.
Last week, UEFA and Italian league officials said they had opened inquiries into allegations that Moggi had arranged to have certain referees assigned to Juventus games.
UEFA also said it had reprimanded Italian refereeing official Pierluigi Pairetto for disclosing confidential information. According to the transcripts of phone intercepts by Torino prosecutors, Pairetto disclosed the names of referees to Moggi.
The Italian soccer federation, whose president Franco Carraro resigned earlier this week following initial reports of the scandal, is also conducting its own investigation.