Appeals begin in match-fixing scandal

The four clubs hit by sanctions in the Italian match-fixing trial were today beginning their appeals at the federal court in Rome.

The four clubs hit by sanctions in the Italian match-fixing trial were today beginning their appeals at the federal court in Rome.

Juventus, Lazio, Fiorentina and AC Milan were all punished for breaking Italian Football Federation (FIGC) rules with the first three relegated to Serie B and the latter given a 15-point penalty for next season.

Juve, the club hardest hit, are set to start the next campaign with a 30-point deduction, effectively making their return to Serie A a two-year project.

However, the solicitor defending the Turin-based club is hoping their appeal will force a change in the original punishment, giving Didier Deschamps’ side a better chance of returning to the top flight after just one season.

“There are lots of ways the penalty can be reduced,” explained Cesare Zaccone, who believes overturning the decision to send them into Serie B may be a little too much to expect.

“We’ll have to see, but let’s not get carried away,” he added.

Under the sanctions read out just days after Italy’s World Cup success in Germany, Fiorentina will be docked 12 points at the start of next season while Lazio will commence the campaign with a seven-point deficit.

Both clubs are also looking for a reprieve as the appeal process gets underway.

Milan have not given up their hopes of playing in the Champions League next season and hope a 44-point penalty applied to last term is reduced, allowing the Rossoneri back into Europe.

A verdict is due on Monday, with the FIGC intent on revealing the outcome as soon as possible with UEFA needing confirmation of which Italian clubs will be playing in their competitions next season by July 25.

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