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Fiorentina and Lazio win reprieves

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Federal court president Piero Sandulli announced the verdicts.

ROME, Italy -- Fiorentina and Lazio were reinstated in Serie A on Tuesday after successful appeals in Italy's match-fixing trial.

Both clubs will start the new season with points deducted, 19 for Fiorentina and 11 for Lazio.

The court confirmed Juventus will be relegated to Serie B but reduced the penalty points imposed on the club from 30 to minus 17. Juve said they cannot accept the verdict.

AC Milan, who retained their Serie A place at the original hearing, had their points penalty for next season cut from 15 to eight.

They are also allowed to enter the third qualifying round for the next Champions League, but Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio, by contrast, are barred from Europe.

Juventus will also have to play three matches behind closed doors and have been fined 120,000 euros ($151,700).

The Turin-based club said on Tuesday it would not accept the appeals court decision over its punishment and would pursue its cause in "every possible forum."

In a statement, the club's chairman, Giovanni Cobolli Gigli said "we absolutely cannot accept this sentence."

"Worst of all, we have been given a penalty which seriously prejudices next season," Gigli said in the statement.

Fiorentina must play three matches behind closed doors, Lazio two matches and both were also fined 120,000 euros.

Both clubs also had 30 point penalties imposed on their tallies from last season, removing them from any of the European competition slots.

Fiorentina owner Diego Della Valle also raised the possibility that his club would make a further appeal in the civil courts.

"It's the first step. We haven't done anything and we will go down every avenue to clear our name," Della Valle said as he left Rome's Hotel Parco Dei Principi, where the court delivered its verdicts.

"Now we will go to all the opportune courts to remove any shadow of guilt and give back what they have taken from us."

Huge cheer

The news that Lazio had also been reinstated in Serie A -- though with an 11-point penalty -- was greeted with a huge cheer from a crowd of about 300 fans gathered outside the hotel.

The club's president Claudio Lotito, however, appeared less pleased.

"I'm not satisfied at all. Lazio has not broken any rule," he told Italian state broadcaster RAI.

"The fact that we will not be taking part in the UEFA Cup (for finishing sixth in Serie A last season) is not in line with the truth".

Earlier, the appeals tribunal had wrapped up its deliberations amid reports that the clubs would have their punishments reduced.

However, the appeals court confirmed the decision to revoke the last two Italian league titles won by Juventus in 2005 and 2006.

No announcement has yet been made on who will be declared champions for those two seasons.

While not the kind of appeals outcome the Turin club had hoped for, the reduced points penalty does give them a chance to push for promotion back to the top flight next season.

Italy's two teams automatically entered in the Champions League next season will be Inter Milan and AS Roma.

AC Milan and Chievo will play in the qualification round.

UEFA had granted the Italian federation a one-day extension, to Wednesday, for submission of names of clubs to participate in European club competitions this coming season.

The draws take place Friday at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

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