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By ESPN Staff
May 25, 2006

Milan deny match-fixing claims after allegations

ROME, May 25 (Reuters) - AC Milan denied on Thursday any wrongdoing after a newspaper published phone taps which suggested the club had tried to influence the appointment of referees for their matches.

The phone taps were part of a probe into alleged match-fixing which has so far centred on Serie A champions Juventus but has sent shock waves through the Italian game.

Milan's lawyer said in a statement the phone taps had been "wrongly interpreted".

According to one of the transcripts published by Corriere della Sera daily, Leonardo Meani, a member of AC Milan's management, spoke to the official assigning linesmen in April 2005, complaining about a linesman after Milan lost to Siena.

In the phone call he warned the official to "be careful", adding that AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani, who is also the Football League president, was "furious".

A separate phone tap shows Meani speaking with another football federation official about refereeing appointments.

In a statement, Milan lawyer Leandro Cantamessa said: "I have said and have repeated ad nauseam that Milan have nothing to do with this case."

Italian football has been shaken by the scandal which encompasses allegations of match-fixing, shady transfer deals and illegal betting on matches.

The entire board of Juventus has resigned and the club could face relegation if the accusations are proven.

AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina are also under investigation.