MILAN, Italy -- Juventus' appeal to a civil court of its sentence in the match-fixing scandal is to be heard Sept. 1.
Juventus formally notified the court Thursday of its intent to appeal a July 25 sports tribunal ruling that stripped the Turin powerhouse of its last two Serie A titles and relegated the club to the second division with a 17-point penalty.
Juventus is seeking up to $166.8 million in damages from the Italian soccer federation, the news agency ANSA said Friday. On its Web site, the club denied it is seeking damages.
FIFA on Wednesday threatened to suspend World Cup champion Italy and all Italian clubs from international competition should Juventus appeal to a civil court. The Italian federation said it would take further disciplinary action against the team if it appealed sanctions levied by a sports court.
But Juventus said that recourse to a civil court was unavoidable due to the "unjustified" severity of the sanctions and a "lack of fair treatment" by comparison to the other clubs involved.
The four other Italian clubs involved in the match-fixing scandal received points penalties, but were not demoted.
FIFA said that forcing a decision before a civil court would interfere with the autonomy of the soccer world and undermine the sport's arbitration system.
Any possible suspension would be indefinite and could stop Italy from taking part in qualifying for the 2008 European Championship.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press