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Serie B chaos as court orders league to review number of teams, three matches into season

September 19 – The chaotic start to Italian Serie B was thrown into further confusion following a court ruling that (disputedly) suspended the league until October 9.

Last summer Serie B clubs Avellino, Bari and Cesena went bankrupt and were relegated under the league’s financial rules. They were not replaced in the league, reducing the number of teams from 22 to 19.

This sparked a number of legal challenges and complaints from clubs that had been relegated and those that just missed out on promotion from Serie C who all claimed they should be in the second tier division.

While the league has remained adamant that the teams will remain the same and continue play – three rounds of league matches have already been played – the courts seem to have a different view.

Franco Frattini, a judge working with the CONI’s High Court of Sports Justice, said: “It is clear that, while we wait until the result of Tar’s (Lazio court) order on October 9 it will not be possible to play in Serie B.

“And this appears impossible to me given the sporting passion of millions of fans. Therefore, on Friday, the board Guarantee Committee will re-examine the idea of a whole new line-up.

“The committee will decide whether Serie B should have 22 or 19 teams. If we decide there should be 22, next Monday, we will decide which three out of the teams will be brought in.”

Siena, Novara, Catania, Ternana and Pro Vercelli had protested the decision to run the league with 19 teams with Serie C side Pro Vercelli winning an appeal to re-examine the their case for being included in Serie B.

Meanwhile Serie B has disputed Frattini’s comments and interpretation of the ruling as “damaging” and “untruthful news”.

“Serie B is not suspended and the championship continues because it is what millions of fans want,” said the statement.

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