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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 5, 2007

Government to take the lead

Italian sport's leading administrator Gianni Petrucci has admitted he will allow the government to take the lead in tackling the crowd violence that has led to the suspension of football in Italy.

Petrucci, president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), also told club presidents that instead of complaining about being victimised, they needed to take a more active role in dealing with the problem.

Football is halted until further notice in Italy and no announcement on any resumption will be made until after tomorrow's funeral for policeman Filippo Raciti, who was killed on the margins of Friday's Sicily derby between Catania and Palermo.

'Our ideas will all be agreed with the government and minister (of sport Giovanna) Melandri,' said Petrucci. 'Everything will be agreed.

'We are thinking of taking measures and then starting again but we don't yet know when. It could be in a few weeks but we need to agree that with the government.'

Petrucci also told club presidents to play their part.

'Presidents must not feel they are being penalised,' said Petrucci. 'The club must feel they are movers in this process not victims. I keep hearing the same old thing.

'We have great respect for the presidents who invest in our football and when someone dies there are no ifs and buts. If football can't give itself the ability to avoid things like this then we will have to do it for them.'

Meanwhile, Romania have turned down Italy's offer of compensation after Wednesday's friendly with the world champions was cancelled.

'(Head of Italian Soccer Federation's international department) Sergio di Cesare told us that compensation will be paid for the inconvenience, but the Romanian Soccer Federation (FRF) refused the money,' FRF director Ionut Lupescu said on Monday.

Lupsecu said the offer was turned down out of sympathy and that Romania hoped the friendly could be re-arranged for later this year or in early 2008.

Romania will now meet Moldova in a hastily-arranged friendly in Bucharest on Wednesday.

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