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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 18:34 GMT 19:34 UK
Punishments cut for Italian clubs
AC Milan, Fiorentina, Juventus, Lazio
Of the four implicated clubs, only Juventus will now go down to Serie B
The Italian clubs implicated in a match-fixing scandal have had their punishments cut on appeal while Inter Milan have been named league champions.

Lazio and Fiorentina have been reinstated to Serie A - but with points deductions increased from 12 to 19 for Fiorentina and seven to 11 for Lazio.

Juventus' hopes of overturning demotion to Serie B were dashed, but they will now have a 17 point handicap, not 30.

AC Milan stay in Serie A, with their penalty cut from 15 points to eight.

Milan may also be allowed to play in the Champions League qualifying rounds this season - having originally been barred from Europe.

However, Milan's place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League is not a foregone conclusion and will be reviewed by Uefa's emergency panel.

A Uefa spokesman confirmed: "It is not usual for the emergency panel to meet to consider the entries. The meeting has been called to look at all the entries and specifically the admission of the Italian clubs."

JUVENTUS
Were relegated with 30-point penalty; now still in Serie B but with 17-point deduction and three-match stadium ban
They say: "We absolutely cannot accept this"

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) sports court upheld the decision to strip Juventus of their last two Serie A titles.

And it assigned the championship to Inter as they were the highest ranking team in the standings that had not been punished in the case.

Inter finished third in the 2005-2006 season, behind Juventus and AC Milan.

The court also confirmed the five-year bans for former Juventus executives Luciano Moggi and Antonio Giraudo - the figures at the centre of the scandal.

In addition, Juventus and Fiorentina were told they must play their first three home games of the 2006-07 campaigns at neutral grounds. Lazio were given a two-match stadium ban and Milan one match.

AC MILAN
Were allowed to stay in Serie A but with 15-point penalty; now just eight-point deduction and back in Champions League. One-match stadium ban
They say: "Much better"

The original punishments were handed out to the disgraced clubs by a Rome tribunal just five days after Italy won the World Cup.

All four clubs implicated denied the accusations.

Their appeals were held by the FIGC sports court at the Hotel Parco Dei Principil in Rome on Tuesday.

About 300 fans of local club Lazio gathered outside to cheer the decision to promote the team back to Serie A.

LAZIO
Were relegated with seven-point penalty; now back in Serie A with 11-point deduction. Two-match stadium ban
They say: "Not satisfied at all"

Juventus are now the only one of the four implicated clubs to be demoted to Serie B, and the Turin club immediately said on Tuesday evening they would now appeal again - possibly through a civil court if necessary.

Juve's club lawyer Cesare Zaccone told Italian news agency Ansa the appeal court's decision was "incredible."

And club chairman Giovanni Cobolli Gigli said in a statement: "We absolutely cannot accept this sentence. For this reason we have decided to push our case in every possible forum."

Fiorentina owner Diego Della Valle also raised the possibility of an appeal in the civil courts, saying after the hearing: "It's the first step. We haven't done anything and we will go down every avenue to clear our name."

FIORENTINA
Were relegated with 12-point penalty; now back in Serie A with 19-point deduction. Three-match stadium ban
They say: "It's the first step"

Della Valle, who saw his four-year ban for his involvement in the scandal reduced by three months, added: "We won a place in the Champions League on the pitch and we will keep going until they give it back to us."

Lazio president Claudio Lotito added: "I'm not satisfied at all. Lazio has not broken any rule. The fact that we will not be taking part in the Uefa Cup is not in line with the truth."

AC Milan were the only one of the four clubs to express anything like relief at the lessening of their punishment.

"For a club that asked for a complete annulment (of the tribunal's sentence) it cannot be considered a victory," said their lawyer Leandro Cantamessa.

"But bearing in mind the tribunal's sentence, which was like being in front of a firing squad, this is much better."

606 VIEW
CA

Asked whether Milan intended to follow the example of the other three clubs and pursue the case in the civil courts, Cantamessa replied: "I don't know. We'll see.

"We are in the Champions League, otherwise I would not even be moderately happy".

The scandal was uncovered as a result of a criminal investigation which was launched before the start of the 2004-05 season by the Naples prosecutors' office.

Telephone conversations between former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi and an official in charge of refereeing appointments were tapped.

Uefa had extended its own deadline for national associations to submit the teams which will play European football this season - to allow Italy to sort out this saga.

Now Italy's representatives in the Champions League will be Inter Milan, Roma, Chievo and AC Milan. The Uefa Cup teams will be Palermo, Livorno and Parma.

The big losers from the appeal decisions are Lecce and Treviso.

The bottom two clubs in Serie A last season, they were reinstated to Serie A along with 18th-placed Messina after the original verdict.

But now Fiorentina and Lazio are back in Serie A, Lecce and Treviso will be relegated after all. Messina stay up, taking Juventus' place in the top-flight, although they will now fear the Turin club's next appeal.

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