The Italian Football Federation has bowed to pressure from the game's world governing body, FIFA, and promised to impose extra sanctions if the disgraced Italian club Juventus appeals its punishment in civil courts.
Juventus was stripped of its last two Serie-A titles and relegated to the second division with a 17-point penalty for its role in a match-fixing scandal. However, the Turin-based club has threatened to appeal its punishment in civil courts.
That prompted a strong reaction from FIFA, which said appealing in civil courts violates international rules. FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said the world governing body could ban all Italian clubs and teams from international competition, a move that could prevent Italy from qualifying for the 2008 European championships.
The Italian Federation responded quickly, saying Wednesday that it would impose extra sanctions on Juventus if the club appeals to civil courts. Juventus has not lodged the appeal.
The Turin club can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, but the Italian Federation said no such action has been taken.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.