Juventus penalty reduced

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/F/Football.jpg' class='caption'> Juventus had its penalty in the Italian match-fixing scandal reduced by eight points on Friday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
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Juventus had its penalty in the Italian match-fixing scandal reduced by eight points on Friday. The Turin club jumped from 20th place in the second-division standings to 12th. Juventus was stripped of its 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles, demoted to Serie B, and docked 17 points by a sports tribunal in July. The 17-point penalty has become a nine-point penalty. Juventus said the sentence "recognised at least in part the enormous commitment and spirit of sacrifice shown by the club". Juventus withdrew its plans to appeal to an ordinary court in August after receiving "signals of willingness" from sports officials to conclude the situation fairly. Juventus has 10 points, eight behind Serie B leader Genoa. An independent arbitration board set up by the Italian Olympic Committee also ruled on three other clubs involved in the scandal. Lazio's 11-point penalty in the top division was reduced to three points, and the Rome club moved from 18th place to 13th. Lazio lawyer Giammichele Gentile said he was "partially satisfied". Fiorentina had its 19-point penalty cut to 15 points, and remained in 19th place. The Florence club has indicated it may appeal to an ordinary court. AC Milan, which began the season with an eight-point penalty, did not receive any reduction. Milan issued a statement saying the sentence "does not deserve any comment on the behalf of AC Milan". Appeals hearings for the two other clubs sanctioned in the scandal, Reggina and Arezzo, are expected in November. The arbitration board is the highest level of justice in Italian sports. The sentences are expected to be the final decisions handed out by sports authorities for the four clubs in a scandal that began six months ago, with sentences that have undergone two revisions. The Italian Soccer Federation on May 2 opened its investigation into phone wiretaps that suggested match fixing. (AP)

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