Italy federation to examine new matchfixing phone taps

MILAN - The Italian football federation opened an investigation on Wednesday following new phone tap evidence introduced at a criminal trial in Naples linked to a 2006 matchfixing scandal.

The development will cause flutters in the hearts of Inter Milan fans, whose club could be dragged into the probe just a day after their thrilling 3-1 win over Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final, first leg.

Juventus were demoted in the 2006 scandal, which revolved around clubs procuring favourable referees for matches, and their former general manager Luciano Moggi (pictured) is now facing a criminal trial in Naples over the affair.

Moggi's lawyers have produced phone tap evidence which they say shows Inter and other clubs not previously linked to the scandal were also involved in trying to choose specific referees. Criminal prosecutors and Inter deny this.

However, the football federation's own investigation unit said in a statement it was launching another sporting probe into the affair in light of the new evidence from Naples.

"(The unit) will ask to acquire all the material produced in court," the statement said.

Inter were handed the 2006 Serie A title by a sporting court after original champions Juve were stripped of the scudetto.

Juve fans now say Inter should lose that honour if it is proved they were involved in the scandal, something the federation will now investigate.

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