Thursday, February 1, 2001

Associated Press

Italian players implicated in sex ring

MILAN, ITALY — Several Italian soccer players have been implicated by police in a sex ring that provided prostitutes through an Internet Web site.

The players were not identified but police said they were from a "top Milan-based soccer club."

Internazionale, one of the two Milan teams in Serie A, denied any player involvement yesterday. But the coach, Marco Tardelli, told state television the accusations are true.

"They were so stupid, they got caught," he said. "Compliments to those who don't get caught. I never got caught."

The city's other club, AC Milan, had no comment.

Police said they busted the ring and seized computer equipment and hundreds of photographs. They have charged two people with abetting prostitution.

Investigators say the Web site carried advertisements by women and men offering sex for sums of up to more than $1,400 a session.

The players are accused of organizing a party with several of the women involved in an exclusive Milan restaurant before spending the night with some of them at the home of one of the players.

In 1999 several members of Inter, including Brazilian star Ronaldo, were implicated in a case involving a Brazilian woman accused of organizing sessions of sex and drugs for soccer players, businessmen, actors and other clients in Milan. Ronaldo denied any involvement.

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Created: February 2, 2001
Last modified: September 1, 2001
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