Monday, July 31, 2006

Season to be delayed?

Reports in Italy suggest that it is very unlikely that the Serie A and Serie B championships will start on August 27 as scheduled.

The probable starting date may be September 10, after an almost four-month break, considering that the national team will play their first Euro 2008 qualifying matches on September 2 and 6.

The Commissioner of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) Guido Rossi had guaranteed there would be no delay, but the appeals of the teams involved in the match-mixing scandal and the evolving second phase inquiries will probably take up most of August.

Earlier today the trio of Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio presented their appeals to the CONI Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, the highest degree in sporting justice, hoping to overturn the verdicts handed down on July 25. CONI’s decisions should arrive within August 10 and if the clubs and officials involved are still not satisfied they may decide to appeal to the civil courts, namely TAR.

The commission who was assigned the second phase of the investigation ended its inquiry on Thursday afternoon and chief Francesco Saverio Borrelli submitted his report on Monday. FIGC prosecutor Stefano Palazzi may call for new indictments for Reggina and possibly Arezzo, Messina, Siena and Lecce before the end of the week, while the first verdicts are expected for mid-month.

Reggina are the ones risking the most and are being investigated with regards to six matches played in the 2004-05 season. The clubs involved have pleaded their innocence and denied any wrongdoing, but it will be very difficult to wrap up all the appeals before the end of August


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