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FIFA Threatens Italian Federation over Juve Antics

  • Reuters, Wednesday, August 23, 2006 4:10 PM
Appeal-happy Juventus is beginning to anger FIFA with its latest antics, Reuters reports, by threatening to appeal to a regional Lazio civil court, which is out of FIFA's jurisdiction. FIFA has responded to the move by applying pressure on the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) to sort the matter out through further sanctions on the Turin club. Soccer's world governing body threatened the FIGC with heavy sanctions of its own if the organization did not try to block Juventus from bringing its protracted battle against relegation to regional Italian courts. FIFA told the FIGC that Italian clubs would be banned from playing in international competitions and the national team might even be pulled out of Euro 2008 qualifying if the FIGC did not act. The Italian federation took those threats to heart and on Wednesday wrote a letter to FIFA saying it would impose sanctions on Juve for trying to overturn their relegation verdict in a civil court, which is against FIFA rules. Under its statute, the FIGC states that members must abide by its laws anyways, rendering a civil court verdict irrelevant under its legislation. In the letter, the FIGC said Juventus had not yet lodged an appeal with the regional Lazio court as it threatened. Shortly after this summer's World Cup, a soccer tribunal found Juventus and three other clubs guilty of match-fixing. The tribunal accused Juve of being the ring leader, handing it the stiffest penalty. As a result, the club was stripped of its last two Italian titles, demoted to Serie B, and forced to begin next season with minus-17 points.

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