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Italian Clubs Confident of Mercy
ANSA, July 24th, 2006 4:05PM

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The defense teams for the four Italian soccer clubs found guilty of match-fixing completed began their appeals process over the weekend, hoping to land softer sentences after three top clubs, including champion Juventus, were relegated to Serie B; all four were deducted points for the forthcoming seasons and banned from the European competitions they qualified for. Juventus, said to be at the center of the match-fixing ring, was also stripped of its 2005 and 2006 league titles. An ANSA report says it was a good weekend in particular for Lazio and Fiorentina's defenses, suggesting these teams might find their sentences reduced and could even be reinstated into the top flight. Both teams argued they were victims of a Juve-orchestrated match-fixing ring. Juventus, meanwhile, said it was "realistically confident " its sentence would be reduced, too. The defense said its goal was to get its 30 points deduction to begin the next season in Serie B scrapped altogether. If indeed the sentences are not greatly reduced, the clubs in question will likely appeal again to the administrative courts, which would likely delay the start of next season. Read the original story...


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