ROME: Genoa, who won promotion to Serie A last season, were thrown into the Third Division (C1) yesterday as punishment for match-fixing.
The decision was taken by the disciplinary commission of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).
Last week the FIGC found Genoa and Venezia, their opponents on the final day of the season, guilty of committing sporting fraud and it was left to the disciplinary council to punish them.
The disciplinary council also handed Genoa president Enrico Preziosi and Venezia administrator Franco Dal Cin five-year bans from any involvement in sporting business because of their part in the scandal.
In June, Alberto Lario, a prosecutor from Genoa, opened an inquiry into Genoa’s last two league matches on June 5 and June 12. Genoa drew 2-2 with Piacenza before beating Venezia 3-2.
The victory against Venezia clinched promotion and ended a 10-year exile from Serie A.
But their celebrations were cut short as a few days later Venezia’s general manager Giuseppe Pagliara was stopped by police as he drove away from Preziosi’s business headquarters near Milan.
Inside his car the police found a suitcase containing 250,000 euros in cash. Pagliara protested his innocence saying the money was a down payment for the transfer of a Venezia defender to Genoa.
The FIGC launched their own investigation after examining transcripts of telephone conversations between Preziosi, Preziosi’s son Matteo and Venezia’s director general Michele Dal Cin in the build-up to the last game of the season.
On Tuesday, Messina and Torino were expelled from Serie A due to the poor state of their finances.
They failed to convince the FIGC that their accounts were in order and that they could manage their debts.
The clubs took their case up with the Italian Olympic Committee (CON), but their appeals were unsuccessful.
The one remaining hope left for them is to appeal to the Regional Administrative Courts (TAR), who can overturn CONI’s decision. – AFP