Anyone could be forgiven for thinking all is rosy in Italian soccer after their dramatic victory in the World Cup Final against France. Throughout the tournament their were domestic problems in Italy with four major clubs accused of match fixing. No sooner has the dust settled on that dramatic victory has the devastating verdicts for the Italian clubs been rendered. Italian sides Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina will all be relegated from the Italian top flight league. AC Milan will keep their top flight status. All four clubs will not be allowed to compete in European competition. AC Milan will not escape punishment as they will be docked 15 points for next season. Juventus will be the hardest hit as in addition to being banned from Europe, and relegated they also will start the new season docked 30 points. There will also be point deductions for Lazio and Fiorentina who will be docked 7 and 12 points respectively. Lecce, Messina and Treviso will all avoid relegation from the top flight due to this verdict. The Italian clubs do have the option to appeal but its highly unlikely the verdicts will be changed.
Its shocking to see how these four major clubs could seriously suffer after this surprising announcement. First is the obvious implications of not featuring in European competition which are mainly financial. Also there will be concerns of how the European competition will be affected by not having these sides involved. AC Milan will survive bar a poor season next year and missing out on Europe, but after that will be a force again. The implications for the other three sides is expected to be more severe. Most of the major players who play for these clubs are expected to leave. They will leave for one or two reasons either they don’t want to play in a lower league or they don’t want to be associated with a club convicted of match fixing. On top of this the days when these clubs can attract the worlds best players may be gone because of the scandals. Juventus may never be a top club again as many of their players have already stated they are keen to leave as soon as possible. There is also a small possibility Juventus will be relegated again after starting the season 30 points behind everyone else. These decisions will shock everyone in Italy and may have dire consequences for the future of Italian soccer.