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Chinaglia Wanted on Extortion, Insider Trading Charges in Italy

ABC and ESPN World Cup commentator Giorgio Chinaglia, a former striker for Serie A's Lazio as well as the NASL's New York Cosmos in the late 70s and 80s, has a warrant out for his arrest after Italian authorities in Rome charged him with extortion and insider trading at Lazio. Chinaglia's name was revealed as part of an investigation into an alleged attempt to influence the price of the Rome club's shares over the last six months. "It's incredible. I don't know where it [the charge] has come from," Chinaglia told Italy's SKY TG24 news channel. "I have never committed extortion." The 59-year old, who now lives in the United States, is the only one of nine involved in the probe who was not arrested. He has been accused of trying to oust Lazio President Claudio Lotito by falsely claiming that a Hungarian investment group wanted to takeover the club. Enraged Lazio supporters, also part of the probe, have been accused of threatening Lotito, although it's unclear whether the investigators believe Chinaglia has any link to them. For his part, Chinaglia claims that Lotito never had any interest in negotiating a possible takeover with the Hungarian group, and that was the end of the negotiations. Chinaglia said he has "nothing to prove because I haven't done anything." As a player, Chinaglia led Lazio to the Serie A title in 1974 before heading to the United States where he won four titles with the NASL's Cosmos. In 1983, he became Lazio's president -- a position he only held for a short time.

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

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