Matchfixing trial hots up despite Ancelotti absence

NAPLES - Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti was unable to be heard as a witness at Serie A's matchfixing trial on Tuesday but that did not stop a significant development in a saga worrying Inter Milan fans.

Ancelotti, the former Juventus and AC Milan coach, could not travel to the Naples court because of the flight disruption caused by ash from an erupting Icelandic volcano.

However, there were eruptions of a different kind at a lengthy criminal trial gripping Italy when the judge agreed for 75 new pieces of phone tap evidence to be used in court.

Lawyers for defendant Luciano Moggi, the former Juventus general manager accused of procuring favourable referees for matches, had asked for the phone taps to be included.

They say the evidence shows Inter and other clubs not previously linked to the affair were also involved in trying to choose specific referees. Prosecutors deny this.

Inter, who were never accused of wrongdoing when the scandal broke in 2006 and led to Juventus being demoted by the sporting courts, have slammed attempts to drag them into the mix.

"This match-fixing matter is shameful," Inter president Massimo Moratti told reporters earlier this month. "This reversal is ridiculous. It offends us."

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

Juve fans and even some Inter supporters now say Inter should lose the honour if it is proved they were involved in the scandal.

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