Disabled parking badges cloud relegation battle

MILAN - A peculiar scandal involving disabled parking badges could inadvertently affect the Serie A relegation picture this weekend when Bologna will try not to be distracted when they host fourth-bottom Cesena on Saturday.

Bologna players including top striker Marco Di Vaio and Italy reserve goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano have been questioned by prosecutors over allegations some of their cars had disabled badges.

"I cannot say anything," Viviano told reporters on leaving the state prosecutor's office.

Italian media have become obsessed by the story, with the club saying the disabled badge belonged to a woman who was a personal assistant to certain players and thus used their vehicles.

Cesena, two points above Sampdoria who occupy the last relegation spot with five games left, will hope to catch their preoccupied local rivals off guard even if 12th-placed Bologna are not mathematically safe.

Brescia, second from bottom and four from safety, will be especially hoping Bologna put the affair out of their minds and beat Cesena given they welcome their own neighbours on Saturday in the form of league leaders AC Milan.

Milan are planning to take an hour-long train journey rather than get caught up in Easter road traffic, such is the club's attention to detail as they near a first scudetto since 2004.

"Unfortunately I don't play but my concentration is total," Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani, who booked the train, told reporters.

"Now someone else has to go and score a goal."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is again suspended after his appeal against a three-game ban for swearing at a linesman was rejected and fellow striker Alexandre Pato is injured. Robinho and Antonio Cassano are set to lead the line.

The Rossoneri are six points clear of second-placed Napoli, who travel to eighth-placed Palermo looking to recover from last weekend's 2-1 home defeat by Udinese.

Beleaguered former European Cup finalists Samp travel to long adrift bottom side Bari, who will be relegated if they lose. Champions Inter Milan, third in the standings, host Lazio who are just one spot below them.

All Serie A matches take place on Saturday this weekend because of Easter.


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