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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 July 2006, 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK
Deschamps rules out quick return
Juve coach Didier Deschamps
Deschamps took over after Fabio Capello's departure
Juventus coach Didier Deschamps admitted it will be almost impossible for the Italian giants to regain their Serie A place at the first attempt.

Juve were relegated and docked 30 points from next season as punishment for the match-fixing scandal.

"It is difficult to get to the first division in just one year," said Deschamps, who was appointed after Fabio Capello left for Real Madrid.

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

Meanwhile, Juventus new president Giovanni Cobolli Gilli promised fans that the club's 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."

Gigli is confident their appeal against the club's deduction will be successful.

He added: "Our lawyer says there are good grounds for appeal.

"He said that all of the reasons they gave for Juve's relegation are linked to the trivial article one and not article six, which is the more serious."

  • Article One is a general rule which explains that "whoever is subject to the observation of the federation's rules must do so according to the principles of fairness, correctness and honesty".

  • Article Six, meanwhile, states that "the execution, through any means, of acts aimed at altering the course or result of a match, or at ensuring an advantage to anybody in the league table, is a punishable offence".

    Juve were found guilty of infringements relating to both articles in the judgment passed on Friday.

    However, they are working hard preparing an appeal, and Cobolli Gigli hopes the club will be in a better platform from which to start next season.

    Our best players will be forced to play abroad. Well done. Justice served

    Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi

    If they were guilty, they have to pay, even if we are world champions

    Italy PM Romano Prodi

    I am very happy and proud to be here

    New Juventus boss Didier Deschamps

    He added: "As a president and fan, I still hope we can stay in Serie A, but given the situation as it is today, we would be happy with Serie B, but with no deductions."

    AC Milan have not given up hope of playing in Europe next season.

    Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina were banned from the Champions League as punishment for their involvement in Italy's match-fixing scandal.

    As a result of the rulings, Empoli won a Uefa Cup place but a Milan statement said: "Empoli do not have a licence to play in the Uefa Cup.

    "The deadline for requesting a licence has expired, hence AC Milan could play in the 2006-07 Uefa Cup."

    Part of Milan's punishment was a 44-point deduction from their total in last year's Serie A, putting them a point below Empoli in the final league standings.

    The Rossoneri will start the new season with a 15-point deficit but they did escape relegation, unlike Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio.

    The verdicts, handed out on Friday, not surprisingly dominated Saturday's newspapers in Italy, and across Europe.

    The four clubs have all announced their intention to appeal against the verdicts, but many of their star players are expected to leave.

    REACTION IN ITALY
    Gazzetta dello Sport
    "HAMMER BLOW: But it's only the first round. The ball now passes to the federal court"
    Corriere della Sera
    "Just 120 hours after the joyful day of the World Cup, Italian football is living the most unfortunate day"
    Il Messagero
    "The world turned upside down the day the French celebrate the storming of the Bastille. The amnesty party has suffered a series of headbutts even more violent than those of Zidane"
    La Stampa
    "Another Juve will arise and I hope, with all my heart, so too will Italian football"

    "This sentence on soccer strikes at nearly 20 million fans," said a spokesman for Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's former Prime Minister.

    "Our best players will be forced to play abroad. Well done. Justice served."

    Italy's Justice Minister Clemente Mastella also criticised the severity of the punishments.

    "At least I'm not the 'sports' justice minister. I can't agree with the sentence," Mastella said.

    "I don't believe that the whole system is rotten. There are some amputations that need to be made but an Italian soccer that wins the World Cup frankly can't be great abroad and less than that at home."

    However, Italian Football Federation commissioner Guido Rossi maintains that the punishments fit the crimes.

    "The sporting justice has worked perfectly," he said. "Now we must rewrite the rules of football so these things never happen again."

    And Italy Prime Minister Romano Prodi said that those guilty "have to pay, even if we are world champions".



  • SEE ALSO
    What now for Italian football?
    14 Jul 06 |  Talking Point
    Italian football's tangled web
    14 Jul 06 |  Europe
    Serie A sale
    07 Jul 06 |  Europe
    The worst scandal of them all
    14 Jul 06 |  Europe
    Old Lady takes a tumble
    14 Jul 06 |  Europe
    Zidane off as Italy win World Cup
    09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006
    Triumph from despair
    09 Jul 06 |  Italy


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