Vicenza handed final spot in Serie B by Italian Football Federation
Vicenza have been awarded the final place in Serie B this season, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced on Friday.
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They were confirmed by the FIGC as the club who would take the place of Siena, who were declared bankrupt and automatically relegated from the league this summer.
The Lega Serie B had intended to start the season with only 21 clubs, but an appeal by Novara -- who finished in the final relegation spot last term -- to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) was upheld, meaning the division had to be restored to its original number of 22.
However, Novara were excluded by the FIGC from being reinstated due to financial irregularities in recent seasons. That led to a host of other clubs applying for the last remaining place, with Vicenza -- who finished fifth in Lega Pro Prima Divisione A last term -- narrowly beating Pisa.
The FIGC used complicated criteria which considered the clubs' history, standing, fan base and recent results, before determining which would be elected.
The governing body's decision was not to everybody's liking, though. Juve Stabia, who also felt they warranted reinstatement having been relegated last season, reacted via Facebook.
"Italian football dies today," a post read. "The Juve Stabia Facebook page is to remain closed down for an indefinite period out of protest of the disgraceful repechage of Vicenza Calcio in Serie B."
Juve Stabia also changed their Facebook cover picture to a plain black background.
The Serie B season starts this weekend, but Vicenza, who benefitted from a similar repechage in 2011 only to be relegated at the end of the campaign, must wait a little longer before making their bow.
Their game at Latina has been postponed, given the fact that there was less than 24 hours to prepare for the trip following Friday's announcement.