It is as if the world has stopped in Rome. All talks are around the recent declarations of Lazio officials concerning the refereeing incidents affecting Lazio. Radio Six interviewed Lazio lawyer Gian Michele Gentile to ask him about the situation amidst the storm of declarations back and forth.
Asked about the situation at Formello and the effect of the recent statements, Gentile said:
"We are trying to isolate the players from all this. We want them to work with peace of mind. Remember we have some tough encounters ahead, and we must concentrate on the games, away from all the declarations and controversy."
Gentile was then asked to comment on the law suit filed by Lazio Shareholder Professor Antinori, to which Gentile said:
"I have no information to comment on this. Antinori acted on his own accord, maybe he has enough evidence and doubts to file a law suit, but from my part I have no information on this. We are now investigating the sporting fraud issues against Lazio, we have been revising the videos. Those videos can give a hint whether mistakes exist, if they do, then we can investigate whether it is intentional or not."
Asked also about Abete's responses to Lotito, Gentile took Lazio's side: "President Lotito has referred in his declaration to a series of events, which in his opinion, require the intervention of the authorities to investigate whether sporting fraud is involved or not. The events mentioned by Lotito are also mentioned by media whether newspapers or TVs and all Lotito requested was an investigation. The right to criticize is sacred of course while made with moderation and restraint."
Lotito is criticizing that when referees are chosen, mistakes are not taken into account. Gentile says: "Yes he is right, the problem with the system is that no one can criticize referees, as if we are talking about Caesar's wife. We have a thousand ways to choose referees, direct appointment, a draw, etc. If the system is not working then we must think of a way to improve it. Asking for this simple issue is not a crime. If one asks to put a microchip to know if the goal is valid or not, everyone objects as if we are insulting the dignity of the referees. There must be a change of mentality before we can improve hte system. We are working to help the referees not the opposite."
Lotito hinted from the door of Tangentopoli, do you agree ?
"It is just an expression representing self criticism. We had unworking systems and we worked to change them, that was the intended meaning. Lotito likes to speak using slogans and I think it is funny." said Gentile.
Finally the interview turns towards the Di Canio allegations against Lotito that he paid 15 million in commissions to secure the Zarate deal.
Gentile said: "There are really no proofs, people made a survey, they investigated, they saw all the invoices, the transactions, the history of the money, and everything is clear. Di Canio really hit a brick wall here."
Then asked if Lazio will be suing Di Canio for what he said and Gentile joked: "Everyone has the right to talk nonsense, I cannot sue someone just because he is talking nonsense. It is from my experience that such suits are useless."