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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 4 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jul 14, 2006

Juve, Lazio and Fiorentina relegated

Juventus, Lazio, and Fiorentina have been relegated from Serie A as a result of the match-fixing scandal.

AC Milan have avoided relegation, but will start next season with a 15-point deficit, and have had 44 points taken from their tally for the 2005-06 season.

Juventus have been stripped of their Serie A titles for each of the last two seasons. They will start next campaign with a 30-point deficit.

Fiorentina will start in Serie B with a 12-point deficit and Lazio a seven-point deficit.

The rulings mean that none of the four clubs will be allowed to play in Europe next season.

In addition to the punishments handed to the clubs, a number of the individual directors were suspended.

Former Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi has been suspended from all football for five years.

Adriano Galliani, who was AC Milan vice-president, has been suspended for one year.

The four clubs will have up to three days to appeal to the Federal Court but a final verdict has to be announced before July 25, when the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) must give UEFA, Europe's football governing body, the list of teams that will compete in the continental club competitions in the 2006/07 campaign.

The scandal was uncovered as a result of a criminal investigation that was launched before the start of the 2004/05 campaign by the Naples prosecutors' office.

Telephone conversations between Moggi and a referees supremo in charge of the appointments of officials during the 2004/05 season were tapped.

Prosecutors based their probe on hundreds of bugged telephone calls between referee selectors, game officials and Moggi.

At the close of trading on Milan's stock exchange on Friday, Lazio shares had dropped 9.68% to 0.28 euros while Juventus went down to 1.45 euros - a fall of 1.15%.

An estimated 500 Lazio fans protested outside Rome's Parco dei Principi hotel as Federal Appeal Commission president Cesare Ruperto read out the verdicts inside.

More than 300 Fiorentina fans met up outside the Artemio Franchi stadium as a sign of protest but it was a different story in Turin with few Juventus supporters turning up at the club's headquarters in Via Galileo Ferraris.