Monday, December 18, 2006

Galliani ban reduced

The Italian Olympic Committee’s (CONI) Court of Arbitration has reduced the Calciopoli ban inflicted on Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani.

The Rossoneri official was handed a nine-month suspension earlier this year in the aftermath of the scandal, which would have ended on April 14, 2007.

Galliani has always pleaded his innocence and therefore lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration, the highest level in sporting justice, in an attempt to see the punishment reduced.

The former Lega Calcio chief’s ban was cut down on Monday and his suspension will now end on December 23.

The rest of the punishment was a £17,800 fine, which will be paid to the Italian Football Federation within 30 days and will be used for youth activities.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lega Calcio ban club Presidents

The Lega Calcio will never again have a club representative as its President, announced Antonio Matarrese after tonight’s meeting.

“If the elected President of the Lega Calcio is also the head of a club, he must choose between one or the other. We can never again have an organisational rapport between the two figures, so he can’t represent the interests of an individual side and the collective,” said current President Matarrese.

“The new rules we have drawn up are very clear on this and nobody should even think about flying too close to the sun, because they will get their wings burned.”

The Lega Calcio – a sort of union of Serie A and B clubs – was embroiled in controversy for the years under Adriano Galliani’s Presidency due to claims he wielded too much power as vice-President of Milan.

Today the Lega united in Milan to discuss changes to the rules post-Calciopoli, which include a paid post as President.

“This is also a novelty, because the President will always be present, attentive and dedicate himself full-time to his duties,” added Matarrese. “We have to start running this union like a business with a real Board of Directors to make decisions and focus only on the good of the whole football environment. The clubs approved these changes unanimously, although it can only be implemented after it has been passed by the Federation.”

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

CONI cuts Reggina penalty

Reggina have had their Calciopoli penalty reduced to 11 points by the Italian Olympic Committee’s (CONI) Court of Arbitration.

The Amaranto had received a 15-point deduction by the Federal Court sporting tribunal during the summer, as well as a two and a half year ban for President Lillo Foti.

They had already tried to appeal that decision in the previous conciliation meeting with the FIGC in October, but had failed to make any progress until now.

The CONI Arbitration confirmed the pundits’ predictions, which suggested that the penalty for the Southerners might be brought down to 11 points, granting a four-point reduction.

The discount allows Reggina to move to nine points in the Serie A standings, leapfrogging Ascoli, who are now in last position.

However, Foti was still not satisfied with the verdict and reiterated the club's innocence in the scandal. "I am very disappointed with this decision, because I do not believe I was guilty," said the club's owner, who was accused of calling referees' designator Paolo Bergamo in order to obtain favours for his side.

"This is an unfair verdict because Reggina are innocent. In any case we respect the decision, which we cannot consider fair for what the side has shown on the pitch," concluded the official.

The CONI Court also examined Arezzo’s position, but the Serie B side’s appeal failed and the six-point handicap for the 2006-07 campaign was confirmed, leaving the Tuscan outfit in last position with just two points earned so far.

Reggina expect reduction

Reggina hope to see their Calciopoli penalty reduced, as the Italian Olympic Committee’s (CONI) Court of Arbitration is expected to hand out its verdict on Tuesday.

The Amaranto were punished by the Federal Court sporting tribunal in July for their involvement in the summer match-fixing scandal and were handed a 15-point deduction, along with a two and a half year ban for President Lillo Foti.

The minnows had already discussed their position in front of the FIGC in mid-October, but the conciliation meeting failed and the club decided to present its request to the CONI Court of Arbitration.

Pundits have predicted that Reggina might be granted a four-point discount, which would allow them to move to nine points on the table to escape from last place, and the verdict is expected to be released on Tuesday evening.

Foti’s hopes were further increased by Monday’s Court of Arbitration’s decision to slash the ban inflicted to Lazio chief Claudio Lotito, whose 30-month suspension was cut to just four months, already expired.

The other clubs involved in the first wave of trials – Juventus, Fiorentina, Lazio and Milan – had already gone through the legal process and the Court of Arbitration granted reductions to all of them, except Milan.

The CONI Court will also examine Arezzo’s appeal, after the initial nine-point penalty for the 2006-07 Serie B campaign was cut to just six during conciliation. Rumours suggest the deduction will be brought down to only three points.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Lotito ‘wins’ Calciopoli appeal

The Italian Olympic Committee’s (CONI) Court of Arbitration has this evening slashed the ban inflicted on Lazio chief Claudio Lotito.

The Biancocelesti President was handed a 30-month suspension earlier this year following an investigation by the Italian Football Federation.

But Lotito has always pleaded his innocence and his appeal to CONI, which was his last chance via the sporting justice system, has proved successful.

The capital chief has seen his ban cut to just four months which has already expired seeing as he has served five months in the lead up to today’s verdict.

Lotito’s success is not totally unexpected seeing how his club have come through the various appeal processes in recent times.

After initially being demoted to the Second Division, they were put back into Serie A with an 11-point penalty which was then slimmed down to just minus three.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Galliani rejects TAR appeal

Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani will not lodge an appeal to TAR against his nine-month Calciopoli ban.

The Rossoneri official appeared in front of the Court of Arbitration on Wednesday as he hopes for a reduction to the suspension handed out by the Federal Court of Appeal in July.

“I do not want to make any forecast on what will be decided by the Court of Arbitration, I think we will now need to wait eight to 10 days,” said the former Lega Calcio chief.

“We will just wait for the verdict, hoping it will be positive. Now we want to focus on real football, which is played on the pitch. In any case, this is the final act of the issue,” added Galliani.

“I have already stated that I will not appeal to the civil courts, I have been a football official for over 30 years and I believe in sporting justice. Ten years with Monza and more than 20 with Milan do not allow me to do anything different from this, so I will just wait and see.”

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Ref designator: Inter worse than Juve

Former refereeing designator Paolo Bergamo claims many more clubs should’ve been punished in the Calciopoli scandal – including Inter.

“Someone picked the wiretap recordings they wanted released and threw away others that didn’t contribute to their final aims,” he told QN newspaper.

The scandal erupted in May when leaked telephone conversations were printed in the press showing officials from several sides urging ‘protection’ from refereeing errors or protesting about mistakes.

“Inter were the ones who complained more than anyone. They suspected everything, as there were a lot of referees they didn’t want assigned to their games, while the draws didn’t please them. Juventus and Milan scared them.”

The Nerazzurri were handed the 2005-06 Scudetto title after the trial, which saw Juve demoted to Serie B and Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina docked points.

Yet Bergamo – whose phone conversations were at the centre of the scandal – insists there was a precise intent to damage some clubs more than others.

“How come in the trial there were only some of the conversations and not others? I hope the investigation outside the football justice system can go more in depth and clarify. I doubt only ex-referee Massimo De Santis and I were spied on.”

Bound to cause further controversy, Bergamo pointed the finger at recently deceased Inter President Giacinto Facchetti.

“I hate to say it because of our friendship since the 1960s and his recent passing, but Facchetti called me more than anyone and Inter complained the most. He was always unhappy and I understood his irritation, as Inter struggled to win. Roma also rang up. They didn’t want some referees and were much warmer to others. It was a superstition issue with them.”

Ex-Juventus director general Luciano Moggi’s phone calls were not only published in the media, but even released on radio stations in some cases ahead of the trial.

“I’ve known Luciano for over 30 years. I am still honoured to be his friend and, if he made mistakes, he’ll answer to them. He mentioned a few referees when we were setting up the designations, but Moggi wasn’t the one deciding, it was the draw.”

Bergamo also slammed the figures in charge of the Calciopoli trial – former FIGC Commissioner Guido Rossi, Cesare Ruperto and Saverio Borrelli.

“These three made some important mistakes. They entered a world they didn’t know, one that had rapports, friendships, teasing and ways of communicating that go round without ever breaking the barrier of fair play between those who work in this sport. I ask Borrelli for a public confrontation about this whole issue.”

Friday, December 01, 2006

Moggi wants Calcio comeback

Disgraced former Juventus director general Luciano Moggi insists he’ll return to the football world after the Calciopoli scandal.

“Juventus did not deserve to go into Serie B,” insisted the man whose wiretapped phone calls to officials were considered to be attempts to favour the Bianconeri.

Moggi resigned as the scandal began to break in May following Juve’s Scudetto – later revoked and handed to Inter.

“I did not leave the football world by choice and I will fight to get back there. Will ex-FIGC President Franco Carraro return to this sport? Let’s get to the next question, that one is laughable,” he told Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli.

Juventus were demoted to Serie B and docked 30 points – later reduced to nine on appeal – but were just one point off leaders Napoli going into this weekend.

“After Juve of course, I hope that Napoli can also get back into Serie A. It would mean rediscovering two superpowers in the top flight. Besides, I am a Napoli fan,” said the former Azzurri director.

Others were less impressed with these statements, such as Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini.

“Moggi wants to return? Well, this is his world, that of the sneaks,” said the businessman. “I am Luciano’s friend and he is the greatest operator in football, but he caused problems left, right and centre. As for me, if this sport doesn’t change soon, then I’ll leave.”