Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ex-Juve pair fail in appeal

The Tar Lazio civil court has rejected the appeals of Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo (pictured) against their five-year bans from the sport.

The former Juventus directors were suspended from footballing activity in the aftermath of the match-fixing probe which considered them as the main figures in the investigation.The duo attempted to overturn the sporting justice system’s sentences but with no success.

Tar Lazio has not yet released the motivations that led to the rejection, but it may be because the duo’s position is still pending within sporting jurisdiction. The CONI Conciliation Court has yet to express their opinion on the petition filed by the pair seeing as their hearings are scheduled for September 5 and 7. “The Juventus representatives had the full and concrete intention of falsifying the table by conditioning referees,” stated CAF appeal court President Pietro Santulli after the last verdict was handed out last month. “Moggi was responsible for serious episodes of sporting fraud and seeing that his illicit design was eventually successful, he damaged the public’s faith in the fairness of sporting competition.” Moggi and Giraudo have denied any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Lega Calcio chief Antonio Matarrese has confirmed that the 2006-07 season will start on September 9 despite Juventus’ appeal to the civil courts. “The new season is scheduled to start on the weekend of September 9 and 10 and that is what we can confirm,” said Matarrese. “I can not make any forecast and I don’t know what will happen, but at this moment in time I can guarantee that the Serie A and Serie B fixtures for the new season remain set to be drawn up in Rome on August 30. I understand that Juventus are living a very dramatic moment in their history and I respect them, but we also have to respect all the other teams.”

Juventus decided to appeal to the TAR Lazio in an attempt to regain their top-flight status on Monday, after the conciliation meeting with the Italian Football Federation on Friday failed to reduce their punishments.The Bianconeri will now be called to appear in front of the TAR on September 6 which has cast doubt on the start of the campaign. Should the Italian giants be reinstated to Serie A, the court could potentially block the new season’s kick off. TAR President Pasquale De Lise stated that the option of an extra hearing in August is being considered to specifically discuss Juve’s case and to avoid any further delays. “We cannot exclude that there will be a special hearing in August, but it’s too early now to set a date,” said De Lise. “There is a hearing scheduled for August 22 and we now have to see if we can add another one, respecting all the claimants and the correct procedures.”


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