Inter cling to 2006 title as decision delayed
Rome: Inter Milan were left waiting to be confirmed as 2006 Serie A champions after sporting prosecutors on Friday deferred a final decision to a meeting of the Italian football federation (FIGC).
Rivals Juventus had called for the scudetto to be revoked following allegations that Inter had also been involved in influencing the selection of favourable referees in that year`s `calciopoli` corruption scandal.
The Turin team were champions in 2004/05 and 2005/06 but were then stripped of the titles after the scandal broke and demoted to Serie B, with the latter championship handed to Inter.
The 2004/05 title was not awarded to any club.
Lawyers representing the FIGC on Friday decided not to pursue Juventus`s claim against Inter on the grounds that any potential charges had expired under the sporting statute of limitations.
However, the saga will not be formally closed until the FIGC`s executive committee, due to meet on July 5 and 18, examine the evidence and reach a decision.
"The matter has been quite clearly defined. With all due respect, the Federation can discuss it but the case should be closed because it has been dismissed," Inter quoted club owner Massimo Moratti as saying.
A statement on the club website (www.inter.it) added that "It is therefore confirmed that no disciplinary proceedings can be initiated against Inter and its members.”
"It should also be highlighted there has never been proof in any judicial court."
Juventus disagreed and, in a statement on their website (www.juventus.com) called for the FIGC to bring to light the findings from the case they had brought against Inter on May 10 last year.
"Only when these acts are seen can the executive committee and public opinion decide if, on the basis of merely being timed out, the ethical motives behind handing the 2005/06 scudetto to Internazionale have stood the test of time and circumstances.”
"Circumstances which, strangely, emerged so many years later. (Decisions to award) honours cannot be timed out," it added.
Juventus demanded the title be taken away from Inter last May after a Napoli court investigating the case heard evidence of more widespread attempts involving Inter to influence the selection of referees.
On Tuesday, Moratti had hinted he might hand over the presidency reins to his son Angelomario if the title were revoked.
"I will not even consider the possibility of such a thing happening," he told Italy`s La Stampa newspaper.
In May, the Napoli court ruled that Luciano Moggi, Juventus` former general manager, should face five years and eight months in jail for his involvement in the 2006 scandal if found guilty of corruption.
Moggi, who had been at the centre of the scandal, was banned for life last month by the FIGC.
Since calciopoli broke, Juventus, Italy`s best supported club with a record 27 titles, have failed to hit their previous heights, finishing another disappointing season this year outside the European places in seventh position.
Inter, meanwhile, have entered into another golden age and won four more titles along with last year`s Champions League triumph.
City rivals AC Milan grabbed their 18th Serie A crown last season, drawing level with the Nerazzurri.