Scandal Appeals see Lazio and Fiorentine reinstated back into Serie A

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The results of the appeals in the massive Italian football match-fixing scandal have today been announced by the Italian federal court. All four clubs involved saw their original punishments reduced.

Juventus originally were relegated to Serie B with a thirty-point deduction. Their appeal still sees them in Italian football's second division, but with their points deduction almost halved to seventeen. They will still have their last two Scudettos stripped off them and the 2005-06 title will not be assigned to anyone. They will also have to play three games behind closed doors.

AC Milan will remain in Serie A and with their points deduction reduced from fifteen to just eight. They will play one match behind closed doors. However, importantly, they have been reinstated into the Champions League, but will have to play in the third qualifying round.

Fiorentina and Lazio have been reinstated into Serie A, having been demoted into Serie B originally. However, both clubs have had their points deductions increased, in Fiorentina's case the deduction was twelve points and Lazio will start the season with -11 points having originally had a seven-point penalty. Both clubs will not be allowed to play in European competitions next season and will have stadium bans. Fiorentina must play three games behind closed doors and for Lazio it's two.

Other consequences

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The appeals mean that of the original relegated trio, only Lecce and Treviso have actually gone down, with Messina staying up to make way for Juve's demotion.

The European qualifying places have now been reworked. Internazionale and Roma will compete in the UEFA Champions League group stages, while Chievo will join AC Milan in the third qualifying round. Palermo, Livorno and Parma will be in the UEFA Cup next season.

Reactions

Juventus have stated that they willnot accept their fate and will now try to re-appeal, possibly via civil courts. Chairman Giovanni Cobolli Gigli said in a statement: ""We absolutely cannot accept this sentence. For this reason we have decided to push our case in every possible forum."

Fiorentina could also appeal via the civil courts and owner Diego Della Valle stated: "It's the first step. We haven't done anything and we will go down every avenue to clear our name."

Lazio chairman Claudio Lotito was also angry despite his club being restored into Serie A. He said: "I'm not satisfied at all. Lazio has not broken any rule. The fact that we will not be taking part in the Uefa Cup is not in line with the truth."

AC Milan were the only club to show any form of relief at their punishment being reduced. "For a club that asked for a complete annulment (of the tribunal's sentence) it cannot be considered a victory," said their lawyer Leandro Cantamessa.

"But bearing in mind the tribunal's sentence, which was like being in front of a firing squad, this is much better." After being asked if the club would, like the other three, re-appeal in the civil course, he replied: "I don't know. We'll see. We are in the Champions League, otherwise I would not even be moderately happy".


Sources

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