CONI sets up group to deal with disgruntled clubs

Rome: The Italian Olympic Committee has set up a group to deal with the growing number of Serie A clubs who do not respect decisions made by ruling sporting bodies.

The group is made up of Pasquale De Lise, Paolo Salvatore, Piero Alberto Capotosti, Roberto Chieppa and Giulio Napolitano.

“It’ll happen quickly,” CONI President Gianni Petrucci said. “There are clear rules, but now always the decision is passed over, by going directly to a tribunal.

“These experts have to tell us how to defend ourselves against these constant appeals to tribunals. It’s not true that who shouts loudest is right. It’s enough. We’ve entrusted a group the job of putting an end to this arrogance.”

Juventus became the latest club to turn to civil law when it filed a court claim Monday asking for ?443 million (USD 598 million) in damages against the Italian football federation and Inter Milan for unfair treatment in 2006.

“We’re in the hands of too many lawyers,” Petrucci said. “I’m not saying we don’t have a right to appeal to tribunals, but I think we are going above all the levels of sporting justice.

“There’s a lack of respect for the rules and for morals, people who are arrogant and bullies shouldn’t prevail. I’m referring to a part of top level Italian football because we’re being part of things never seen before.”

Juventus was stripped of its Serie A title and relegated to Serie B in the 2006 match-fixing scandal. The club has for some time now been demanding it be given back the 2006 title.

CONI said on its website that the Court of Arbitration for Sport had declared itself “incompetent” to deal with Juventus’ appeal.

“I don’t know if it was right to give that title to Inter, I wasn’t at CONI at the time,” Petrucci said. “But rules were respected and it is case closed for CONI. Whoever wants to reopen it will create problems in Italian football.”

Italian football federation President Giancarlo Abete and other leading members expressed their support for Petrucci’s stance. However, Juventus President Andrea Agnelli insisted his club was left with no option but to go to court.

“As Juventus president I have to protect the club as much as possible,” Agnelli said. “Today Petrucci invited everyone to protect the world of sport and respect the rules."

“Juventus has always done so, but this series of events cannot be ignored.”

Bureau Report

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