Juventus Lose 15 Points for Shady Transfers

By: Gyang Dakwo

Juventus have been deducted 15 points for the current season by an Italian soccer court investigating the club’s transfer dealings, leaving the country’s most successful team marooned in mid-table.

The ruling, which also deals a blow to the club’s reputation , is tougher than a nine-point deduction a soccer prosecutor had requested earlier on Friday during a hearing looking at the way Juventus and a number of other teams dealt with player exchange deals.

With 20 games left to play this season, Juve were third in Serie A with 37 points, 10 behind leaders Napoli. The deduction pushes them down into 10th place, outside the qualifying spots for lucrative European competition.

In a late night statement, the court also imposed bans from holding office in Italian soccer on 11 past and present Juventus directors.

These included 24 months for Andrea Agnelli, who was replaced this week as chairman after formally stepping down in November, and 30 months for former sports director, Fabio Paratici, now managing director of football at England’s Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.

Juventus said it would appeal to the country’s Sport Guarantee Board once the reasons for the ruling were published.

“We consider this to be a blatant injustice also for millions of fans, which we trust will soon be remedied in the next court,” lawyers for the club said in a statement.

Juventus have denied wrongdoing and said their accounting was in line with industry standards.