Juventus docked 15 points: what this means for Weston McKennie’s team
After being hit with a significant Serie A points penalty after a probe into false accounting, Juve face an uphill battle to qualify for Europe next season.
After it was confirmed that Weston McKennie’s Juventus have been docked 15 points in Serie A, in what was already proving a difficult campaign for the Italian club, the Bianconeri are now tasked with putting together an almost perfect second half of the season if they still want to challenge for a European place.
Juventus well adrift of Champions League, Europa League places
Juve’s points deduction leaves them on 22 points and pushes them down to 10th in the Italian top flight, one point behind Fiorentina in ninth. Only goal difference keeps them above Bologna and Empoli, in 11th and 12th, respectively.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side, in which USMNT star McKennie is a regular, therefore face a mammoth task to make it into Serie A’s Champions League or Europa League spots. Indeed, they must also play catch-up even to qualify for the Europa Conference League, the continent’s third-tier tournament. The 36-time domestic champions are a full 12 points adrift of Lazio in the fourth and final Champions League place, and are also 12 behind the two Europa League positions directly below that. Seventh-placed Udinese, who occupy Serie A’s Conference League berth, are three points ahead of Juventus.
It’s also worth noting that Juve’s inconsistent form in 2022/23 has seen the Turin club drop out of this season’s Champions League and into the Europa League, where they must negotiate a playoff-round clash with Nantes to stay in European competition this term. The first leg of that tie is at Allianz Stadium on 16 February, with the return at Nantes’ Stade de la Beaujoire a week later.
What’s next for Juventus?
Off the field, Juventus’ focus will now be on challenging the ruling by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), which was announced on Friday after an investigation into the Vecchia Signora’s finances found that the club had falsified balance sheets. In a statement, Juve said they “await the publication of the reasons for the decision” and confirmed they would lodge an appeal against the punishment with the Italian Olympic Committee’s Sports Guarantee Board.
In addition to handing out a 15-point penalty, the FIGC has banned several members of Juve’s former board, which stepped down en masse in November over the investigation into the club’s accounts. Former president Andrea Agnelli has been suspended from all football activities for two years, while ex-vice-president Pavel Nedved has been given an eight-month ban.
Juve’s Atalanta clash won’t be on French TV
Meanwhile, it has emerged that beIN Sports, which owns the TV rights to Serie A in France, will not be showing games featuring Atalanta over legal issues involving the company Plus500, which sponsors the Bergamo club. A french court has ruled that Plus500′s logo cannot appear in broadcasts as this “would constitute forbidden advertising of high-risk financial products”, beIN said in a message to its subscribers. That immediately affects Juventus, as the Bianconeri are due to face Atalanta on matchday 19 of the league season on Sunday.
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