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By ESPN Staff

Italian Federation chief Rossi stands down

MILAN, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The head of the Italian Football Federation, Guido Rossi, has resigned from his post after he was appointed chairman of Telecom Italia.

Rossi's staff and vice-commissioner Vito Gamberale, who had been tipped as a possible replacement, also resigned leaving the Federation facing a second major change in personnel and raising questions about the reforms begun in the wake of the country's match-fixing scandal.

The Italian news agency ANSA said Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) had put lawyer Massimo Coccia into the role of caretaker commissoner but a meeting on Thursday could appoint a new full-time head of the Federation.

Another vice-commisioner Demetrio Albertini, the former AC Milan midfielder who is in charge of the Federation's 'technical affairs' said he was willing to continue in his role.

Rossi was appointed as emergency commissioner of the Federation in May after Franco Carraro resigned as president amidst the match-fixing scandal that shook the Italian game.

The former head of Italy's stock market regulator was charged with introducing reforms in the national game but his appointment to head Telecom Italia led to calls for him to give up his position.

The news agency ANSA quoted Rossi's staff as saying: 'The commissioner and his assistants, collectively and individually, note that the conditions do not exist for the continuation of the work that has been undertaken to bring (Italian football) back to health.

'Therefore with that reasoning they have brought forward the end of their mandate,' said the statement.

ANSA said that Rossi had offered to stay on until the end of October in order to complete the reforms his team had begun but that scenerio had been rejected by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) which had appointed him.

CONI were meeeting on Tuesday to discuss the situation and president Gianni Petrucci said that he formally accepted the resignation.

Giovanna Melandri, Minister for Youth and Sports, said it was vital that the reform programme begun by Rossi be completed.

'I am grateful to the professor for all his efforts and the work carried out up until now. Now, it is important to rewrite the rules and to finish this process and not turn back,' she said.