Juventus general manager critical after 'suicide attempt'

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The Independent Online

Italian football fans were in shock yesterday at the apparent attempted suicide of Gianluca Pessotto, the team manager of Juventus, the football club embroiled in the biggest scandal in the country's sporting history.

Mr Pessotto fell about 15 metres from an attic window of the club's Turin headquarters into an internal courtyard. He was found by colleagues clutching rosary beads in his hands, having left his car keys and mobile phone on the window ledge.

He was treated for multiple fractures and internal haemorrhaging. His condition was later described as grave but stable.

Romy Gai, the commercial director of the Serie A club, who visited Mr Pessotto in hospital, said nobody had any idea what had happened. Mr Pessotto, 35, was apparently being treated for depression linked to personal problems. Juventus players in the Italian World Cup squad were expected to fly back from Germany to Turin to visit him. The Italian captain, Fabio Cannavaro, said he was devastated by the news.

Juventus have recently been at the centre of a huge match-fixing scandal that has rocked Italian football, but Mr Pessotto has not been implicated in any way.

The club's former managing director Antonio Giraudo and its former sporting director Luciano Moggi are under criminal investigation for "sporting fraud", for allegedly controlling a network of referees in order to guarantee favourable results.

In a related investigation by the Italian Football Association, the club faces demotion to the second division and could be stripped of its two most recent league titles.

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