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Italy coach Lippi resigns
Latest Updated by 2006-07-13 09:03:45
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Italy coach Marcello Lippi resigned yesterday, three days after guiding the Azzurri to their fourth World Cup title.

Despite widespread calls for him to stay, Lippi suggested weeks ago that he would resign. He feels he and his son, Davide, were attacked personally in the corruption scandal that has tainted Italian soccer.

While he is not under investigation, Lippi was questioned by prosecutors before the World Cup about alleged pressure he received to select certain players for Italy's national team. Davide Lippi is under investigation for his work at player agency GEA World.

"I will continue to coach," Lippi said without elaborating.

Italian soccer federation vice president Giancarlo Abete said Lippi had told him during the round-of-16 stage that he intended to quit regardless of his team's performance.

In a statement, Abete praised Lippi for his "extraordinary professionalism and his ability in leading the team."

Francesco Saverio Borrelli, who led the federation's probe into the match-fixing scandal, said he was saddened by the coach's decision.

Former Italy and AC Milan midfielder Roberto Donadoni has been touted as a possible successor to Lippi. After starting coaching in 2001, Donadoni joined Livorno in 2004, stepping down this year despite leading the Tuscan team to an unexpectedly high sixth place finish in Serie A.

Lippi denied reports before the final linking him to Manchester United, saying that since he doesn't speak English it would be impossible for him to work for the Premier League club. He hasn't announced his future plans.

Lippi replaced Giovanni Trapattoni after Italy was eliminated in the group stage of the 2004 European Championship.

He led the team on a 25-game unbeaten streak, the Azzurri's second-longest streak after they went 30 games without defeat from 1935-39 -- a period that included Italy's second World Cup title in 1938.

Lippi visited former Juventus coach Gianluca Pessotto at a Turin hospital after announcing his decision. Pessotto has been hospitalized with multiple fractures after falling from the roof at the club's headquarters June 27 in what Italian media described as a suicide attempt.

Editor: Donald

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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