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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2005, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Genoa demoted after match-fixing
Former Genoa President Enrico Preziosi
Preziosi has resigned from his position at Genoa
Newly-promoted Genoa will appeal their demotion from Italy's Serie A to the third division for match-fixing.

The Italian League's disciplinary commission investigated a 250,000 euro payment made to Venezia before Genoa's 3-2 win at the end of last season.

Victory over already-relegated Venezia gave Genoa promotion but phone taps revealed the result was "guaranteed".

President Enrico Preziosi and general manager Stefano Capozucca have been banned from football for five years.

Venezia managing director Francesco Dal Cin was also given a five-year ban.

And Martin Lejsal and Massimo Borgobello, players with Venezia last season, were given bans of five and six months.

"It will not finish like this," said lawyer Alfredo Biondi. "We will go down every possible avenue of appeal, both in the sporting courts and the civil ones."

I hope things will improve when we appeal
Defender Andrea Sottil

Genoa will start their campaign in Serie C1 next season with a three-point penalty imposed by the League.

But fears that they would sell their players in order to adapt to life in the lower divisions were quickly denied by club officials.

"We'll continue just as we are until the final word has been said on the subject," coach Francesco Guidolin was quoted as saying in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"It is a very hard sentence. To tell the truth, I was expecting the team to stay in Serie A with a few penalty points. I hope the decision can be overturned."

Guidolin's surprise at the harshness of the sentence was echoed by his players.

"I'm shocked. It is a very serious situation. I hope things will improve when we appeal," said defender Andrea Sottil.




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