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By ESPN Staff
May 26, 2006

Inzaghi insists 'morale is high'

FLORENCE, Italy, May 26 (Reuters) - Italy striker Filippo Inzaghi says Marcello Lippi's World Cup squad are trying to keep a soccer scandal out of their minds and insists morale is high.

A far-reaching investigation into match-fixing allegations has overshadowed the Azzurri's build-up to the World Cup finals which start in Germany on June 9.

"It is very sad and we don't pretend that nothing has happened and think that it is right that whoever has made mistakes be punished," Inzaghi told reporters on Friday.

"But at the World Cup we want to give some satisfaction for the fans and from today we just want to talk about football."

Inzaghi said relationships between players from different teams had not been soured by allegations that some clubs had tried to influence the appointment of referees to Serie A games.

"There is one atmosphere in the team and a desire to give our all to obtain the results we want," said the AC Milan striker.

"Doing well depends on lots of factors including good performances, of course. But there is a great atmosphere among the players whether we are at the dining table or on the training field - all of the rest we have managed to keep outside."

Inzaghi said the damaging scandal meant the players had added responsibility at the World Cup.

"We need to be an example on every level, including that of behaviour, I am convinced of that," he said.

Inzaghi said that neither the national team nor any of the players in the squad had been involved in any wrongdoing.

"The players are the least guilty of all in this - the players have always done their best for their clubs and now we have a chance to give our response to everything on the field.

"The national team has nothing to do with this (scandal) but we have a great responsibility now at the World Cup."