Soccer: Cagliari leave stadium after legal woes

'Structure could be moved soon'

Soccer: Cagliari leave stadium after legal woes

Cagliari, April 2 - Serie A soccer club on Tuesday said it was leaving its controversial provisional stadium which would be rebuilt in another location in the Sardinian capital. The club, currently 11th in Serie A, 30 points behind leaders Juventus, cancelled a three-year contract with a municipality on Cagliari's outskirts to use the Is Arena Stadium. Cagliari, who finished 15th in Serie A last year, moved there when their historic but outdated Sant'Elia stadium - scene of the scudetto triumph of 1970 - closed down a year ago. In its letter to the Quartu Sant'Elena council, Cagliari said its lawyers were "working on ways and means to dismantle the structure, which could soon be moved to another municipality". The case has brought legal woes for the club's administrators and local officials over claims of graft linked to the stadium. On March 1 Cagliari Chairman Massimo Cellino refused to leave jail after being granted house arrest in a case concerning alleged corruption in relation to the ground. Cellino was arrested along with two local officials on February 14. The investigation regards renovation work on the Is Arenas stadium on the outskirts of the Sardinian city. Cagliari have had trouble with the ground since moving there at the start of this season due to problems with it being cleared as fit to host the public. The team's first Serie A match of the season against Atalanta was played behind closed doors. Their second game against AS Roma was cancelled after Cellino defied local authorities by telling home fans to turn up to a match that was meant to be played in an empty stadium for safety reasons. Roma were awarded a 3-0 win. Only parts of the Is Arenas were open at a number of games this season and a recent home match against AC Milan went ahead at the ground after Cagliari successfully appealed against a decision to move the contest to Turin. Cellino, Mauro Contini, the mayor of the Quartu Sant'Elena municipality, and Stefano Lilliu, the council's public works chief, are suspected of attempted embezzlement and deception. In November three other people were put under house arrest in relation to the investigation. Cagliari had to play a number of games in Trieste at the end of last season because of problems with their former home, the Stadio Sant'Elia.

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