Vol. 5 Num 694 Sat. May 13, 2006  

Entire Juventus board resigns

The entire board of Serie A giants Juventus resigned Thursday over the phone tap scandal that has rocked Italian football.

A statement issued by the Turin club said: "The board has handed its mandate to the shareholders and called an ordinary assembly for June 29."

The decision comes after transcripts of telephone conversations involving Juventus board members Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo with high-ranking Italian football federation (FIGC) officials were leaked to the press last week.

In the conversations, part of an inquiry by Turin prosecutors, Moggi tells Pierluigi Pairetto, head of the Italian referees' association and a member of the UEFA's referees' commission, which referees he would like assigned to several of his team's Serie A and Champions League matches.

The scandal prompted an investigation by the Italian football federation (FIGC), but it was later revealed that FIGC president Franco Carraro was given the transcripts back in February and had failed to take action.

Carraro quit his post on Monday.

Adriano Galliani, the vice-president of Juve's fierce Serie A rivals AC Milan and president of the Italian football league (Lega-Calcio), said the scandal was getting out of hand.

"Every day there are new allegations and we can't tell the real investigations from the false ones," he said.

"I don't know how it's going to end, but like everything, there is a beginning and an end.

"Those guilty will have to be punished and football will have to pick itself up.

"I hope things are not serious, and I have total faith in the judicial system to sort it out."

The influential Agnelli family, owners of Italian car manufacturers FIAT and the major shareholder of Juventus, have been under increasing pressure to repair their tarnished image since the scandal broke.

Last Sunday, after the 2-1 win over Palermo which left Juve needing a point from their final match of the season this Sunday to retain the title, FIAT vice-president John Elkann said: "These events have not left us indifferent. There is a time and a place to act."

On Thursday, Juve's share price fell by 9.3 per cent.

Moggi has been at Juve for 12 years, during which time the club has won six league titles.