Friday, July 14, 2006

JUVENTUS RELEGATED: I was worried they'd get off easy--in the sense of not being dropped to Serie C--but what they did receive was about as bad: Serie B with a huge 30 point penalty, which isn't much different from going to Serie C, since there's probably no way they can make it back to A for at least two years. Plus they've been stripped of their last two titles. And that's with bending the rules in consideration of Juventus' popularity; as this article points out, when Genoa was found guilty of fixing one match, they were busted down to C from A. Juventus was found guilty of fixing two whole seasons, and they're only going down to B. But like I said, with the penalty, it sort of evens out, though it seems like if the letter of the law was followed they'd be getting the soccer club death penalty. That article helpfully explains that if Juventus was made non-viable the Italian game itself would suffer, like (I guess) what the Yankees suddenly ceasing to exist would mean for baseball. (Have you ever noticed that the NFL is a strong enough product to exist without any one of it's member franchises? I think that's true.)

Berlusconi's AC Milan remain in A but are kicked out of Champions League/UEFA Cup. Fiorentina and Lazio go to B with smaller penalties. They've all vowed to appeal, so there's still a chance for altered sentences, but as of right now the Italian prosecutors have not allowed the World Cup victory to influence them. This is a good thing.

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