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Italian Sanctions May Come Before World Cup Final

The Associated Press reports that sanctions will be handed out before the World Cup final on July 9 for the Italian soccer executives under investigation for match-fixing. Former senator Guido Rossi, who was chosen to lead the Italian soccer federation after the scandal broke, told the AP that Italy's sports magistrates would decide who will stand trial next week. Luciano Moggi, the general manager of Serie A champion Juventus, and Antonio Giraudo, the club's former chief executive, will almost certainly be among those indicted. The scandal includes allegations of manipulating referee appointments, bribing and illegal betting. If indictments are handed out next week, the trial would take place June 27-28, and sentencing would come between July 7-9. If Moggi and Giraudo are found guilty, Juventus risks being relegated to a lower division. Executives from at least three other clubsincluding AC Milancould implicated. FIFA President Sepp Blatter proposed a July 31 deadline for any sanctions to be carried out. The Italian representatives in August's final stage of qualifying for the 2006-07 Champions League would be affected if Juve or another top four Serie A team was excluded from the competition. It's unclear whether sanctions would be extended to the Italian soccer players at the clubs in question; many of them are representing the Azzurri at the World Cup.

Read the whole story at The Associated Press »

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