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Tbilisi.. Kakhi Kaladze, a former football player of the Italian Genoa football club and currently a member of the Georgian billionaire-turned-politician Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition, has appealed to the Georgian authorities, claiming that his "past is clear and nobody believes in the Black PR" carried out against him by the authorities.
Kaladze's statement was published on the Georgian Dream coalition's Facebook page, on Thursday, June 14.
"There was a huge wave of misleading reports against me by 'pocket' broadcasters during the past few months. They have tried a lot, but they have failed. I warned them from the very beginning and I made it clear that I always lived honestly and that they wasted their time, energy and finances," Kaladze stated.
As it is pointed out in the statement, Kaladze possesses information about government's plans to re-start its 'lie machine'.
"As I have found out, the government is planning to restart the lie machine and Georgian Interior Ministry has already sent its official to Italy for this purpose. I would like to repeat it clearly for the authorities that are in agony - my past is clear and no one will ever believe in 'a storm in the teacup' made of lies invented by you. Georgian nation's struggle for democracy is entering its final phase. The Georgian Dream will soon come true and neither blackmailing nor provocations can stop it," Kaladze's statement reads.
A scandal around football match-fixing has recently sparkled in Italy. 19 people have been arrested for involvement in match-fixing in the country. Georgian Mass Media reported about alleged search in Kaladze's house, in Milan. Kaladze's spokesperson, Otar Chrdileli, said, Kaladze's house had been searched amidst a series of search operations conducted by the Italian police throughout the country, including at Coverchiano sports base, in Florence. As it was reported, the grounds for searching Kaladze's house could be the phone records, that Kaladze, himself, characterized as 'business conversation", while the law-enforcers regarded them as code words.
Lazio-Genoa match, which ended 4-2, raised the Prosecutor's suspicion. Meanwhile, Kakhi Kaladze said, he had not participated in that match. Moreover, according to him, he was not even in reserve due to a trauma he had received before.
Earlier, the Italian Prosecutor's Office officials released the records of phone conversations between Kaladze and the Bosnian league player, Safet Altik (charged for organization of fixed matched) about purchase of doors for EUR 50 thousand. As Kaladze explained, he had discussed with Altik the purchase of doors and tiles for reconstruction of a hotel in Kobuleti. He said he had refused to conclude a deal due to poor quality of the product.
As Kaladze stated at a news conference in Tbilisi, on May 29, he was ready to go to Italy and give testimony as a witness.
Kaladze, who has recently voiced his intention to leave sports and join the oppositional Georgian Dream political coalition, is the only Georgian football player, who won the Champions League twice. He played for "Dynamo Tbilisi", "Dynamo Kyiv" and Italian "Genoa" and "Milan" football clubs.
Kaladze started his football career in 1993 at Umaglesi Liga, club Dynamo Tbilisi. He made 82 appearances in a five-year spell. In 1998, he moved to the Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv and made 71 appearances until 2001, when he was signed by the Italian Series A club Milan. To the date he has won one Series A, three Ukrainian Premier League and five Umaglesi Liga titles.
With Milan he won the Champions League on two occasions, the UEFA Super Cup once and the FIFA Club World Cup once. After captaining his country 50 times in 84 appearances, Kaladze announced his retirement from the Georgian national team end of 2011.