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By ESPN Staff

Italian FA to investigate Juventus phone tapes

MILAN, May 5 (Reuters) - The Italian Football Federation is investigating the content of tapped telephone conversations involving Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi talking of refereeing appointments for Serie A games.

The content of Moggi's telephone conversations during the 2004-05 season, intercepted by investigators in Turin, have been published in Italian newspapers and were passed on to the Federation who said they had already opened an investigation.

The probe by Turin public prosecutors was closed without action. Juventus won the title in the season concerned.

In the interceptions, Moggi talks about the selection of referees for specific games with Pierluigi Pairetto, who at the time was in charge of appointing match officials.

"I am very sorry to read things which could appear very different from the reality," Pairetto told the Italian news agency ANSA. "Maybe there were some comments which were inopportune but my good faith is beyond question".

Moggi declined to discuss the conversations, telling reporters: "We have a press ban in place and I have no intention of making in comment. Everything is fine."

Juventus were due to hold a press conference at 12.30 local time on Friday while Federation president Franco Carraro was also due to speak to reporters in Rome.

The taps, which have resulted in front page headlines in Italy's sports press, also include embarrassing references to former Juve coach Marcello Lippi, now in charge of the national team, exchanges with journalists and a number of discussions about transfer dealings.

Gianni Petrucci, president of Italy's National Olympic Committee, which oversees sport in the country, urged the Federation to make a swift investigation of the taps.

"The Federation need to accelerate their investigation in regard to the rights of everyone. Above all, who has erred needs to pay the price. It is clear that we want the image and the ethics (of the game) to be respected," he said.