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Juve secure title as Moggi resigns

Juventus players celebrate their 29th title as controversy engulfs Italy.

MILAN, Italy -- Juventus have been crowned champions of Italy for the 29th time but match-fixing allegations totally overshadowed the final day of the season.

Shortly after Juve were presented with their trophy, after beating Reggina 2-0, general manager Luciano Moggi -- who is at the center of the investigations --announced his resignation.

Italy's outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who owns AC Milan, said the scandal meant that his club, who finished second in the past two seasons, should be awarded the last two titles.

On the pitch, Fabio Capello's side finished the season three points ahead of second-placed AC Milan who won 2-1 at home to Roma.

A 23rd minute goal from French forward David Trezeguet put Juventus on their way and Alessandro Del Piero made sure of the win in injury time.

Milan's only hope of winning the title depended on Juve losing but Carlo Ancelotti's side at least ended the season with a win.

Brazilian Kaka put Milan ahead from the penalty spot in the fifth minute before Roma drew level with a header from French defender Philippe Mexes in the 33rd minute.

Brazilian substitute Marcio Amoroso gave Milan the win from the penalty spot after Cesare Bovo had pulled down Alberto Gilardino. Bovo was sent off for the foul.

Fiorentina's 2-0 win over Chievo assured the Florence club of fourth place and a spot in the qualifying round of next season's Champions League along with third-placed Inter Milan.

Roma, Lazio and Chievo will be Italy's representatives in the UEFA Cup next season.

All three relegation spots had already been decided before the final day with Treviso, Lecce and Messina heading into Serie B.

Juve and Milan will go straight into the group stage of the Champions League and Capello said he was proud of his team's achievement -- urging people to wait before making judgements on the various investigations into the game.

"For two years I have worked with this team, for two years the players have tried to do their best. We have been on top for 76 games and we have our heads held high and deserve this title. We are proud," Capello said before turning to the scandal.

"We have to wait, it is right to wait before making all the judgements," said the Juventus coach.

While Juve fans were dancing in Turin, Moggi appeared on TV to announce he was resigning a day before he is due to face public prosecutors in Rome.

"From Monday I will have resigned as general manager of Juventus, from this evening the world of football is no longer my world," a shaken-looking Moggi said.

"Now I will think only about defending myself from all the malice that been said about me," added Moggi, who has long been regarded as the most powerful club official in Italian football.

The scandal, which has led to a series of resignations at the Italian Football Federation and has resulted in 41 people being placed under investigation by public prosecutors, followed the publication of intercepted telephone conversations featuring Moggi.

In the phone calls, Moggi discussed refereeing appointments with senior federation officials during the 2004-05 season and also bragged of locking a referee in a changing room after a game.

"I ask you for courtesy, don't ask me any questions because I don't have the desire or the strength. I don't have the soul for it, they have killed it," added Moggi.

If found guilty of involvement in match-fixing, Juve could be stripped of their last two titles and demoted to Serie B.

Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini, whose team finished third in Serie A, had no doubt about the gravity of the situation.

"It is difficult to make an evaluation when you play in fixed championships, in fact it is impossible, " he said.

"It is a very serious matter. The most serious ever heard of in the history of world football," Mancini added.

Berlusconi, who lost last month's general election but remains a key political and business figure, said: "We demand they give us back the two league titles that are our due. We're tired of suffering injustice."

The scandal has cast a cloud over Italy's World Cup plans.

On Monday coach Marcello Lippi has to brave the press and present the squad he will take to the June 9-July 9 finals in Germany.

On Tuesday, Italy's sports authority is due to appoint a "commissar" to take over the football federation, whose chief has resigned amid the chaos.

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