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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Mancini believes Serie A matches have been fixed

MILAN, May 14 (Reuters) - Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini said on Sunday that recent Italian Serie A championships had been 'fixed'.

Speaking on the final day of the season, Mancini was quoted as saying: 'It is difficult to make an evaluation when you play in fixed championships, in fact it is impossible.'

Italian soccer has been rocked by a match-fixing scandal which erupted after the publication of telephone conversations between Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi and senior football federation officials discussing refereeing appointments during the 2004-05 season.

'I've read of a referee talking about a game from 2001 and now we are in 2006, so you can imagine what I think about all that has happened.

'It is a very serious matter. The most serious ever heard of in the history of world football,' said Mancini, whose Inter side finished the season in third place.

'I am horrified, I didn't think you could have such a thing as this - an organisation on high that was controlling everything. I don't think that's happened anywhere else in the world.

'It's a really bad thing for everyone -- and not just for me, I think a lot of journalists are involved as well,' said Mancini, who was speaking after Inter's 2-2 draw with Cagliari.

Juventus, at the centre of the allegations, won the title with victory over Reggina on Sunday, while AC Milan finished second.

It was Juve's second consecutive league title and was followed shortly afterwards by an announcement by Moggi that he was resigning as Juve's general manager.

Asked about Sunday's celebrations by the Juventus players, Mancini said: 'It's only right that the players celebrate, but it's not as if nothing has happened this week.

'I too was a Juventus fan, from a boy to when I was 15. But that was a different Juventus.'