Italian refereeing great Pierluigi Collina on Friday denied a report in the Armenian press that he had illegally adopted a child.
“I was astonished to read that I had reportedly illegally adopted an Armenia child,” Collina, who was the world’s top match official for many years and is the current chairman of FIFA’s Referees Committee, told ANSA.
The comment comes after Armenian media reports claiming he was involved in an illegal adoption plot in the country.
“Although I esteem those who decide to do this legally, my wife and I have never considered adopting a child,” he added.
“I find it incredible that my name could have been linked to an investigation into a system of illegal adoptions and, obviously, I have taken action to protect myself via the appropriate channels,” Collina added.
The Armenian justice ministry earlier stated that Collina hadnot made a request to adopt an Armenian child and said that “the publication of this sort of fake news is morally and legally unacceptable”.