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Juventus face mission impossible, says coach

india Updated: Jul 16, 2006 14:27 IST
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New Juventus coach Didier Deschamps has admitted that it was practically impossible for the Italian giants to regain their Serie A place at the first attempt following their match-fixing demotion.

Juventus were relegated and docked 30 points from their total for next season as punishment for being caught up in the scandal which rocked the country's national sport.

Juve were stripped of their last two league titles, while Fiorentina and Lazio were also demoted to Serie B for their part in the affair.

"It is difficult to get to the first division in just one year," said Deschamps who has taken over from Fabio Capello.

"With 30 points deducted, it's practically impossible."

Juventus new president Giovanni Cobolli Gilli promised fans that the clubs relegation will not necessarily lead to the departure of all the team's star names.

"I hope that some of our important players will stay," he said.

"Obviously lots of them will find it hard to stay with us in Serie B with 30 points deducted, but the clubs that are interested will have to pay full rate."

Former Juve manager Capello, now in charge at Real Madrid, has already been linked with moves for the club's World Cup winners Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluca Zambrotta.

But Gilli is determined not to sell on the cheap and said: "Should Real Madrid want our players, they will have to pay.

"That also applies to other teams who may be interested in our players, because we have the duty to defend the club's heritage.

Livorno, Parma and Empoli will be entered into the UEFA Cup but Milan believe Empoli are ineligible to play.

"At present Empoli are not licensed by UEFA and would not be able to take part in the UEFA Cup," said a statement on the AC Milan website.

"The possibility could open up for Milan to take part in the 2006-07 UEFA Cup."

Empoli President Fabrizio Corso is adamant his team should take the UEFA Cup spot, but Milan's lawyer Leandro Cantamessa hinted the Rossoneri may take legal action to ensure they are allowed to enter.

Cantamessa believes the decision to reduce Milan's 2005-06 final points total by 44 points - leaving them one point outside a UEFA Cup place - has no justification.

He said: "There are lots of reasons to challenge this contradictory verdict. I read the whole verdict and there's no explanation for all the points that have been deducted."

Meanwhile, across the city, rivals Inter Milan insisted they should now be awarded last season's Serie A title because they finished third, behind Juventus and Milan.

Inter manager Roberto Mancini said: "It is right not to award the title from two years ago to anyone, but last season's should go to Inter.

"If one side wins by cheating, its fair to award the trophy to the team that came behind them playing fairly."

It is thought the title will be declared void and will not be awarded to any team.

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