Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Serie A kick-off delayed

The Lega Calcio (Italian Football League) have confirmed that the new Serie A season will now kick off on September 10. The fresh campaign was originally scheduled to start on August 27, but that date has been deemed as unrealistic given another summer of controversy in Italian football.

Due to the various appeals with regard to the match-fixing scandal and the threat of another tribunal hearing involving more clubs, the new season’s start date has been delayed by two weeks. Serie A will start on September 10 and come to a conclusion on May 27, 2007. The Serie B campaign will also begin on the same weekend, but ending on June 10.

Throughout the season there will be four midweek round of fixtures in the First Division and four Sunday breaks in the schedule as a result of international commitments and the Christmas/New Year break.

The Coppa Italia will kick-off on August 19, with the two legged Finals set for April 18 and May 9, 2007. The Italian Super Cup Final, which will officialy open the new season, between newly crowned Italian champions Inter Milan and Roma, last season’s Coppa Italia runners-up, will be played on Saturday August 26.

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 take up most of August.

On Sunday 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.

View the Lega Calcio document (Italian) >>>


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