CONI sets up group to deal with disgruntled clubs

BY foxsports • November 16, 2011

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.

''It'll happen quickly,'' CONI President Gianni Petrucci said. ''There are clear rules, but now, always what sports justice systems decide is ignored, by clubs 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 those who shout loudest are right. It's time to stop that. We've entrusted a group the job of putting an end to this arrogance.''

The group is made up of Italian Council of State president Pasquale De Lise, former council presidents Paolo Salvatore and Piero Alberto Capotosti, former Constitutional Court president Roberto Chieppa and the Italian President's son Giulio Napolitano, who is a professor of civil rights law at Rome university.

Juventus became the latest club to turn to civil law when it filed a court claim on Monday asking for ?443 million ($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 - known as Calciopoli. 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.''

Agnelli called for Petrucci to bring together leading figures in Italian sport to focus on ending the Calciopoli debate and creating a better future for sport in Italy.

''I've noted what Agnelli has asked for,'' Petrucci responded. ''The tone of what he has said will facilitate these meetings. I'm open to dialogue, I want to think of the future. This day is now ending on a positive note.

''I will think now of who will be at these meetings. I hope they will happen as soon as possible.''

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