Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The other shoe drops

The Italian World Cup success has been overshadowed somewhat by the Italian soccer scandal where the managers of four clubs (Juventus, Fiorentina, Lazio and Milan) would arrange to get certain referees that were favorable to their teams assigned to their matches. The worst offender was Juve so the scandal has centered around them. The prosecutor has finally come out with his recommendations for punishment and they are not good. Juve would be relegated to Serie C (a third division) with 6 points of punishment while the other three teams would be relegated to Serie B (second division) with 15 points (Fiorentina and Lazio) or 3 points (Milan) of punishment. Since Juve is kind the New York Yankees of Italian soccer, there is lost of "schadenfreuden" for the rest of the Italian soccer teams, but especially Torino, the other soccer team from Torino (duh!). The managers/referees/etc. involved would also be banned from soccer for from five to two years, depending on the person.

Since these recommendations are very harsh, expect them to be watered down. The recommendation for Milan could be very easily watered down to just staying in Serie A with some type of punishment along with Fiorentina and Lazio, but expect to see Juve relegated. The team has never played in anything lower than Serie A, which they constantly remind everyone, so the long knives have come out and Juve will pay the consequences.


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