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Parma gets setback in Serie A return

Italian Football Association imposes point deduction.

Parma Calcio Celebrates The Return To Serie A
Fans of Parma Calcio at Stadio Ennio Tardini on May 27, 2018 in Parma, Italy.
Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Welcome back to Serie A, Parma!

One of the three teams promoted from Serie B last season will already start the season in a hole.

On Tuesday, the Italian Football Association levied a five-point deduction for the team to start the season amid alleged match-fixing from last season.

Additionally, Emanuele Calaio will be out of action for two years after being banned by the federation for his part in the scandal.

Ascoli Picchio v Parma Calcio
Emanuele Calaio’ of Parma Calcio in action during the match between Ascoli Picchio and Parma Calcio at Stadio Cino e Lillo Del Duca on April 16, 2018 in Ascoli Piceno, Italy.
Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

According to reports, the association’s national tribunal had initially suggested Parma receive the point deduction at the end of last season which would have seen them stay in Serie B, but Monday prosecutor Antonia Mario Scino deemed the punishment be added to this season, thus keeping Parma promoted.

Calacio, who did not return messages seeking comment, was also fined €20,000 and is expected to appeal the ban. Parma, on the other hand, has not decided whether to appeal the decision as it could mean harder sanctions if they lose it.

The scandal stems from Parma’s match with Spezia where Calcio allegedly messaged Spezia players which were considered an attempt to convince those players to let Parma win and thus be promoted to Serie A. Parma defeated Spezia 2-0 on May 18 to help win promotion.

So, what it means is that Parma will start the season with minus-5 points while every other team will start at zero. It immediately puts them in a hole that will be difficult to get out of.

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