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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 September, 2003, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Serie A to expand
AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi was involved in the decision to expand Serie B
Italy's Serie A will be expanded from 18 to 20 teams next season after a deal was struck with rebel lower league clubs who had boycotted the start of the current campaign.

Serie B will return to normal on Thursday after the clubs agreed to end their protest, the Italian Football League confirmed on Tuesday.

Clubs were angered by the decision last month to expand Serie B to 24 teams, with three relegated clubs given a reprieve and Fiorentina promoted.

None of the opening Serie B fixtures took place, while only two matches were played in the scheduled second round on Sunday.

An Italian Football League spokesman said the deal would mean five teams promoted from Serie B this season and three relegated from Serie A.

A play-off will take place between the sixth place side in Serie B and the team finishing 15th in Serie A.

From next season Italy will therefore have an expanded 20-team Serie A, with Serie B reduced to 22 teams.

The controversy began in August when the Italian Football Federation re-admitted relegated sides Catania, Genoa and Salernitana to the second division, along with Florence club Fiorentina.

The move came after Catania won a legal action against their relegation.




SEE ALSO
Six to watch in Serie A
28 Aug 03  |  Other European
Italian football crisis grows
27 Aug 03  |  Europe
Serie A season delayed
20 Aug 02  |  Europe



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