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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 1, 2006

Scandal fallout to delay start of Italian soccer season

MILAN, Italy -- Italy's soccer season will begin two weeks late because of the fallout from the Serie A match-fixing scandal.

The top leagues will start the weekend of Sept. 9-10 instead of Aug. 28.

The Soccer League, which oversees Serie A and Serie B, postponed the start date to "allow sports justice to reach its conclusion," spokesman Manuele Tigani said Tuesday.

Serie A games will kick off on Sept. 10, while Serie B is scheduled to begin on Sept. 9.

Also pushed back was the Italian Supercup between Inter Milan and Roma, which will take place on Aug. 26 instead of Aug. 19.

Juventus -- stripped of its last two Serie A titles and relegated to the second division last month -- appealed its punishment earlier Tuesday to the Italian Olympic Committee's arbitration court.

Fiorentina and Lazio -- two other clubs sanctioned in the scandal -- are also expected to appeal their punishments, including a ban from European club competition for this season.

The Olympic committee said a ruling would be issued by Aug. 25.

Several other Serie A and Serie B clubs are under investigation by the Italian soccer federation for alleged involvement in the scandal. The federation is expected to sentence those clubs later this month.

Other appeals as well as criminal probes into alleged fraud, illegal betting and false bookkeeping could further affect the smooth running of the Serie A and Serie B seasons.