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Why could UEFA exclude Juventus from European competitions?

Juventus have been given a 15-point deduction in Serie A but could be set to face further punishments, domestically and in Europe.

Update:
TURIN, ITALY, JANUARY 22:
Juventus players encourage before the start of the Italian Serie A football match between Juventus and Atalanta at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, on January 22, 2023. Juventus was hit with a 15-point penalty for the current season, for false accounting following an appeal hearing at the Italian football federation (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Anadolu AgencyGetty

Things could be about to go from bad to worse for Juventus. The Old Lady are locked in a battle with both the sports and ordinary courts in Italy and now might also have UEFA to worry about. On Friday, the Federal Court of Appeal accepted the FIGC (Italian Football Federation) Prosecutor’s request to reopen the sporting trial against them for their alleged usage of falsified capital gains and handed them a 15-point penalty in Serie A. Now, the second part of the investigation will look into undeclared wage payments, which could seriously threaten their participation in European competition in coming seasons.

What punishments could Juventus face from UEFA?

Relations between the Turin giants and UEFA had already been strained of late because of the European Super League saga and look set to deteriorate even further. In addition to the possible “unsportsmanlike conduct” over the capital gains issue, any trial related to undeclared wage payments could jeopardise the Financial Fair Play agreement that was finalised between UEFA and Juventus in September: the club were ordered to pay a fine of €3.5 million and meet certain financial targets by the 2025/26 season.

Should the club fail to comply with that agreement and be unable to meet those targets, the fine will shoot up to €23 million and could lead them to being excluded from European competitions, which will be increasingly likely if it is proved that accounting fraud has been committed.

As explained by Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, a one-year ban from UEFA competitions can only be served if the club in question actually qualifies. Juventus look unlikely to qualify for Europe in 2023/24 having been hit with a 15-point deduction – there may yet be more to come – which means the suspension will carry over into the following season, or the next time they qualify. On top of all that, there is a chance they could also face some form of punishment from the Court of Justice of the European Union for their participation in the proposed European Super League.

Evelina Christillin: “Juventus cut their own throats”

All in all, there isn’t much cause for optimism, a point hammered home by Evelina Christillin, a UEFA member on the FIFA council who has a close relationship to the Agnelli family, who own Juventus. “They cut their own throats, the wiretaps speak for themselves”, she told Italian broadcaster Rai. “We still have to see what happens with the undeclared wage payments and what UEFA decide; there could be further sanctions. If they don’t play in Europe, they’ll have huge financial problems, fewer fans in the stadium and fewer sponsors.”

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