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http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/new...331:MTFH52924_2005-03-31_14-13-03_L31458524:1

ROME, March 31 (Reuters) - Italy's Antitrust Authority said on Thursday it had opened a probe into the country's professional soccer league, its clubs and agents, bringing the country's national sport once again under public scrutiny.

The regulator said in a statement it would look into the state of competition in the market, the role of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), the national professional league, clubs and soccer players' agents.

The opening of a probe does not necessarily result in further action by the regulator, but Antitrust's move could deal another blow to the image of Italian soccer, marred in the recent past by police investigations and financial troubles.

"The analysis will focus upon searching for the causes that have led to the presence of several anomalies which may not be conducive to the development of real competition," the statement said.

The watchdog will also investigate the way soccer agents work and look into any business relations which agents may have with other companies working in the soccer sector.

Italian clubs, some of which are battling record debts and heavy losses, have come under increasing legal scrutiny in recent years following allegations of widespread balance sheet malpractice and transfer irregularities.

Just earlier this week, bourse-listed Serie A side SS Lazio averted bankruptcy by reaching a last-minute deal with Italy's tax authorities on a fiscal debt of some 140 million euros ($181.5 million).

In February last year, Italy's finance police searched the offices of all 42 clubs in the top two divisions as part of an investigation into suspected accounting fraud in soccer. All clubs denied any wrongdoing.

Two other Serie A teams are quoted on the Milan bourse apart from Lazio. They are Turin-based Juventus and Rome-based AS Roma.
 

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romansky said:
The watchdog will also investigate the way soccer agents work and look into any business relations which agents may have with other companies working in the soccer sector.
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MOGGI MAGARI MORI OGGI!
 
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