HT Image
HT Image

Juve to appeal sentence through civil courts

Juventus, the hardest hit of the clubs, plans to go to court to contest its relegation to Serie B after losing its appeal.
None | By Associated Press, Milan
PUBLISHED ON JUL 26, 2006 10:24 PM IST

The fallout from Italy's match-fixing scandal isn't over yet.

Despite the final appeals rulings in the case, Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina say they will continue to fight their punishments. Juventus, the hardest hit of the clubs, plans to go to court to contest its relegation to Serie B after losing its appeal.

"We absolutely cannot accept this sentence," Juventus president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli said. "We will pursue our appeal through all possible courts. As long as justice has not been served, I can make assurances that we will never stop."

Juventus was largely unsuccessful in its appeal on Tuesday against a July 14 ruling which stripped the Turin giant of its last two Serie A titles and relegated it to the second division with a 30-point penalty for influencing the outcome of matches.

Juve's only respite was a cut in its points penalty to 17. "I don't see the difference between Juve and the other clubs," Gigli said. "The difference in the measure of the rule of justice that separates Juventus from the other teams is totally unjustified."

AC Milan, which had been spared demotion from Serie A, was reinstated to the Champion's League and had its point penalty reduced from 15 to 8.

Milan's participation in the Champions League must still be ratified by European governing body UEFA, which plans a special meeting on the issue on Thursday in Switzerland.

"Our punishment is disproportionate to the facts but we accept it," Milan vice president Adriano Galliani, said on Wednesday on the club's Web site.

"Milan will make no kind of appeal," he added, "while I will go to whatever lengths to get my nine-month penalty cut."

Galliani was one of 19 soccer officials and referees sanctioned in the original ruling. He received a reduced penalty from the appeals court - from a one-year ban to nine months.

Tuesday's appeal ruling also reinstated Fiorentina and Lazio to Italy's topflight with heavy points penalties, 19 for Fiorentina and 11 for Lazio, but upheld the original ruling barring both teams from European club competition in the upcoming season.

In the earlier ruling, Fiorentina was sent down to Serie B and given a 12-point penalty while Lazio was demoted and docked seven points.

Despite a return to Serie A, both teams said they would continue their appeals.

"We haven't done anything and we will journey down all possible roads to show our innocence," Fiorentina owner and industrialist Diego Della Valle said.

Like Galliani, Della Valle was sanctioned in the original hearing and received a reduced penalty on appeal, three months shaved off his four-year ban.

Lazio said it would appeal to the Italian Olympic Committee's board of arbitration.

Separately, prosecutors in Rome, Naples, Parma and Turin are conducting criminal probes into alleged sports fraud, illegal betting and false bookkeeping.

Story Saved