Juventus still fighting about fixing penalties

July 26, 2006

Juventus have vowed to use all possible legal avenues to further reduce their punishment in the Italian match-fixing scandal, while Fiorentina are to pursue a case to be totally exonerated despite both clubs seeing their penalties reduced by an appeals court yesterday.

Tuesday night's appeals hearing saw Juve stay in Serie B but have their points deduction for next season cut from 30 to 17 points while Lazio and Fiorentina, relieved to regain their top-flight status, will have 11 and 19-point reductions respectively in Serie A.

AC Milan were not relegated by the original verdict but have seen their points penalty in Serie A next season reduced from 15 to eight.

The Rossoneri were also allowed back into the Champions League although European football governing body UEFA will discuss the issue of Italian clubs at a special meeting tomorrow.

Juventus have been the club most exposed by the match-fixing scandal which broke when phone calls between the club's former director Luciano Moggi and the man responsible for appointing referees were made public.

Despite having their punishment slashed, the Turin giants are still unhappy at their treatment - they are the only one of the four clubs implicated in the case who will start next season in the second division.

Juve now are threatening legal action as club president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli made clear in a statement posted on the club website.

Cobolli Gigli said: 'We can absolutely not accept this sentence.

'In the light of the facts that have been established until now, the sentence can not be considered to be a balanced one.

'Furthermore, I find it grave and totally unjustified this difference in degree of justice that separates Juventus from the other teams.

'The situation for Juventus is very hard: we have had the 2004-5 Scudetto taken away and even though it is not the subject of an inquiry also the 2005-6 one; we have been prevented from competing in international competition.

'Above all they have inflicted on us a penalty that severely prejudices us for next season.'

The president claimed Juve, who have had a root and branch reform of the club since the allegations surfaced towards the end of last season, had tried to help investigators.

'From the moment the first interceptions came out, the club has pursued one objective alone: to clarify things and do so without hesitation.

'That is why we will take our appeal to every possible court.

'I can assure you that we will not stop until justice has been done in the interests of our extraordinary fans, our shareholders, of the club and of course of the championship.'

Fiorentina director of sport Pantaleo Corvino welcomed his club's return to Serie A but vowed to clear the Florence outfit's name.

'At least we have returned to heaven,' Corvino said in remarks on www.acffiorentina.it. 'But we expected it because of the honesty and legality of our club and its directors and all the same we continue to hope for an expect an acquittal.'

Milan were also reinstated into the Champions League by the appeals court but European football governing body UEFA will look at the situation on Thursday.

'There will be an emergency panel meeting, which will be attended by the UEFA president tomorrow morning, and it will specifically look at the Italian teams entered for UEFA`s competitions for the coming season,' a UEFA spokesman told PA Sport.