Capello to face perjury probe

ROME (AP) Prosecutors intend to open proceedings against England manager Fabio Capello for perjury in a case stemming from the Italian match-fixing scandal, Italian news reports said Monday.

The reports also said prosecutors are seeking a similar case involving former Juventus chief executive Antonio Giraudo.

Capello testified Monday at the corruption trial of the Gea World player agency, which was run by the son of Luciano Moggi, the former Juventus general manager who is at the heart of the scandal.

Capello coached Juventus from 2004 until 2006 and, according to the text of his testimony, repeatedly said he didn’t remember nor knew any details of the scandal, according to the Apcom news agency. He has not been implicated in the match-fixing itself.

Calls to Rome’s prosecutors’ office were not immediately answered.

Prosecutor Luca Palamara was quoted as saying by Apcom that Capello cannot hide “behind the ‘I don’t remember’ line.”

Capello resigned from Juventus after the 2005-06 season and the club’s two titles won under his direction were revoked.

While Capello was not charged before a sports court for direct involvement in the scandal, Giraudo was banned from soccer for five years.

Juventus was relegated to the second division for its role in the scandal.

“I never knew of pressure on players or cases related to contracts with players. At Roma, and then at Juventus when I was coach, I was only concerned with coaching choices,” Capello told the court according to the ANSA news agency.

Reached by phone, Capello’s son and agent Pierfilippo Capello refused to comment.

“I have nothing to say,” Pierfilippo said, excusing himself to deal with a client.

Mexico fires Sanchez

MEXICO CITY (AP) Hugo Sanchez was fired as coach of Mexico’s soccer team on Monday, two weeks after El Tri’s Under-23 team was eliminated from Olympic qualifying.

The Mexican soccer federation fired Sanchez after 16 months on the job, having failed to deliver on promises of regional titles and an Olympic medal.

The decision of the Mexican federation committee, made up of the directors of the first-division clubs, was unanimous.

The failure to qualify for Beijing is particularly stinging for Mexican players of this generation, who won the Under-17 World Cup in Peru in 2005 and reached the quarterfinals at the Under-20 Word Cup in Canada last year.

Jesus Ramirez, who guided the Mexican U-17s to their 2005 title, was installed as the interim manager of Mexico.

Also tarnishing Sanchez’s 33-game coaching tenure was Mexico’s loss last year to the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

Sanchez, a former star for Real Madrid, struggled with losses to regional minnows such as Honduras with the full national team and Guatemala with the U23s.

Sanchez acknowledged his Olympic program had failed, but had refused to resign.

Before taking the helm, Sanchez went on a four-year campaign to become Mexico’s manager, repeatedly criticizing predecessor Ricardo La Volpe and promising to make the team a world champion.

In the Gold Cup, the team struggled to beat teams it previously dominated, such as Cuba, Panama and even the island of Guadeloupe.

The Gold Cup also laid bare the shortcomings of Sanchez, who led the Spanish League in scoring five times while playing for Real Madrid.

Hulk back to Verdy?

Kyodo News

Brazilian striker Hulk, who is set to leave Kawasaki Frontale after failing to fit in at the club, is expected to rejoin fellow J. League first-division side Tokyo Verdy, soccer sources said Tuesday.

Verdy has reached a broad-based agreement with Hulk, and the details of the financial and other terms related to his transfer are being worked out by the clubs, the sources said, adding the signing is likely to take place as early as Wednesday.

Kawasaki decided to dismiss Hulk after the 21-year-old voiced his frustration after being substituted in Kawasaki’s second game of the league campaign, a 4-1 defeat at Vissel Kobe.

Hulk was subsequently left out of both of Frontale’s Nabisco Cup defeats to JEF United Chiba and Consadole Sapporo.

Hulk has had spells with Kawasaki, Sapporo and Verdy, where he scored 37 league goals to top last year’s second-division scoring charts.