Sun, 05 Feb 2023

Juventus have been docked 15 points while numerous former club officials have been banned

Juventus have been handed a 15-point deduction by the Italian football authorities following an investigation into allegations of financial irregularities. The Turin club has already said it will appeal the punishment.

In immediate terms, the points deduction means Juventus have plunged from third to tenth place in the Serie A table. They are now 25 points behind league leaders Napoli - who beat them 5-1 earlier this month - and are 12 points adrift of the European qualification spots.

The Italian football federation (FIGC) announced its decision on Friday, and the sanction is even harsher than the nine-point deduction that prosecutors had been seeking in the case. It was announced that former Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli - who resigned along with other members of the board in November - has been banned from holding a position in Italian football for two years.

Juventus' former vice-president Pavel Nedved has been hit with an eight-month ban, while ex-sporting director Fabio Paratici - who now works at English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur - has been banned for 30 months. The London club is trying to ascertain if the sanctions will influence Paratici's position, with the FIGC reportedly requesting that the punishment be applied across all UEFA and FIFA jurisdiction.  

Juventus and former club officials have denied any wrongdoing and have already announced their intention to appeal the decision at the country's highest sports court within the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

Winners of the Italian title a record 36 times, Juventus have faced claims that they fixed their balance sheets by falsely inflating the value of players and misrepresenting losses.

They were initially cleared alongside 10 other clubs in April 2022, but the case was reopened in December after the federal prosecutor appealed against that ruling.

New evidence into Juve's financing is said to have come to light from a separate investigation by prosecutors in Turin, leading to the case being revived.

After winning the title for nine straight seasons between 2012 and 2020, Juve saw their dominance in Italian football end at the hands of Inter Milan in 2021 and AC Milan in 2022. The Turin club posted a record loss of 240 million ($260 million) for last season, further indicating their downfall.  

Elsewhere, Juventus have found themselves at odds with UEFA over plans for the ill-fated European Super League, which collapsed shortly after being announced in April 2021. Along with Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, Juventus have continued to maintain that the project can come to fruition, despite widespread opposition from UEFA and with nine of the 12 founding teams all pulling out.

Juventus were famously embroiled in the 'Calciopoli' refereeing scandal 17 years ago - one of Italy's biggest ever sporting controversies. On that occasion, they ended up being demoted to Serie B and losing two Serie A titles.

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