Reggina loses its appeal of game-fixing sanctions

August 26, 2006

MILAN, Italy -- The Italian team Reggina lost its appeal of soccer federation sanctions in the latest ruling stemming from the country's game-fixing scandal.

A sports tribunal also upheld a 2½-year ban from soccer for Reggina president Lillo Foti, the Italian soccer federation said Saturday.

Reggina, which finished 15th in Italy's top league last season, was docked 15 points by a federation sports court Aug. 17 for allegedly trying to have cooperative referees assigned to the team's games.

The appeals tribunal reduced sanctions against Serie B team Arezzo from nine penalty points to six for allegedly seeking favors from referees, the federation said. Arezzo finished seventh in the second division last season.

The scandal has resulted in penalties or relegation for four of Italy's top soccer clubs.

Juventus was stripped of its last two Serie A titles and relegated to Serie B with a 17-point penalty for next season. Fiorentina and Lazio start next season banned from European competition and minus 19 and 11 points, respectively. AC Milan was allowed to play in the Champions League but was docked eight points. The four teams have appealed their sanctions.

Italy's soccer season already has been delayed by two weeks because of the scandal. Serie A and B are to start Sept. 9-10.

Prosecutors in Naples, Rome, Parma and Turin also are conducting separate criminal investigations into sports fraud, illegal betting and false bookkeeping. Any indictments could take months.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press