Lippi defends his son's role

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The Independent Online

There was no conflict of interest between Marcello Lippi being a manager and his son being a football agent, the former Italy coach told an Italian court in written testimony yesterday.

Six pages of evidence from a meeting between Lippi and a prosecutor were released to the trial of six men accused of fostering unfair competition through the use of threats or violence.

The six men are linked to the Gea World sports agency and are suspected of manipulating the transfer market for their own gain.

Lippi was coach of Juventus from 1994-99 and 2001-04, working under general manager Luciano Moggi. Their sons, Davide Lippi and Alessandro Moggi, both worked for Gea.

"The roles always remained clearly distinct," Lippi said in the witness statement to the court in Rome with regard to his son's role at Gea.

He also brushed off suggestions that his former general manager had later tried to influence him as Italy coach between 2004-06. "I deny having been put under pressure by Luciano Moggi on decisions about players for the national team," he said.

"It happened that I would ask Moggi about how some players were... in order to call them up. Anyway I called up the players in a totally independent way and not because someone had told me to."

Luciano Moggi, along with Davide Lippi, is one of the defendants in the case. England coach Fabio Capello gave evidence in the trial on Monday and is now being investigated by a state prosecutor on suspicion of withholding information from the court.