Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Quartet await on final verdict

The four clubs implicated in the match-fixing scandal will hear the result of their final appeals against their punishments in the next few days.

Juventus, AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina have already had their original sentences reduced. They are now seeking further cuts from the Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) Court of Arbitration.

“We are hoping to get the same sentence as all the other teams,” said Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli. “I am confident that CONI will treat us in the right way because we have paid a lot with the relegation into Serie B.”

The Turin giants, who already had a 30 point penalty reduced to 17 after a first appeal, are optimistic that another cut is in line. "We are serene ahead of the sentence," said Juventus chief executive Jean-Claude Blanc last night. "We have a big handicap, having been demoted to Serie B and given a 17-point punishment, but just as we respected the previous sentence, we will also respect the next one. However, we do hope to have a fair sentence which will give the players the necessary condition to have a more acceptable challenge.".

All four clubs began the season with points deductions, while Juventus were also relegated to Serie B. The Bianconeri, Lazio (-11) and Milan (-8) will present their cases on Wednesday, while Fiorentina (-19) will have their appeal heard on Thursday.

The final verdicts are expected to be revealed towards the end of the month, with 15 days being touted as a possible timescale.

Speculation by various sources in the Italian media insist that all the clubs will see a reduction in their penalties.

Juve are only appealing against their points deduction after they decided not to take their appeal over their relegation to the civil courts. Such a move could have resulted in FIFA throwing Italy out of Euro 2008 qualifying.


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