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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Reggina have match-fixing penalty reduced

ROME, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Italian Serie A club Reggina had their penalty in the match-fixing scandal reduced from minus 15 points to minus 11 by the Italian Olympic Committee's Court of Arbitration on Tuesday.

The reduction lifted Reggina off the bottom of the division to 19th out of 20 teams with nine points from 15 matches.

However, the court's decision did not please the club's president Pasquale Foti.

'I'm not satisfied because I don't hold myself responsible, nor do I recognise the accusations that have been levelled against me and my club. Reggina are innocent,' he was quoted as saying on La Gazzetta dello Sport's Web site

The Court of Arbitration is the final stage of Italy's system of sports justice. The only way to challenge its decision would be to appeal in the country's civil courts -- a potentially long and drawn-out process that Foti said he had already discounted.

'Reggina will definitely keep this within the realm of sport. All I will say is that there are often unjust sentences and this is one of those.'

Reggina were one of five top Italian clubs found guilty by a sports court in July of conspiring with referees and linesmen to rig games during the 2004-05 season.

Of the other four, Juventus were stripped of their last two titles and ordered to start this season in the second division Serie B on minus 17 points.

AC Milan, Lazio, and Fiorentina all kept their top-flight status, but with points penalties.

Juventus had their points penalty slashed to minus 9 by the Court of Arbitration in October. Lazio and Fiorentina's penalties were trimmed from minus 11 to minus 3, and minus 19 to minus 15 respectively.

AC Milan were the only club whose appeal was rejected and their punishment remained minus eight points.