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Serie B's Catania get reprieve from relegation


Wednesday July 2, 2003 5:46 PM

MILAN, July 2 (Reuters) - Sicilian club Catania have had their relegation from Serie B overturned by the Italian Football League and will play in the second division next season.

Catania finished 17th in the 20-team Serie B last season but their status had been in doubt due to a legal battle. A 1-1 draw against Siena in April was later awarded as a win for Catania after allegations that Siena's Luigi Martinelli had played while still under suspension.

However the extra two points were taken back following an appeal by Siena -- a decision which prompted Catania to turn to a Sicilian regional court which supported them.

The matter has been in front of the Italian Olympic Committee and the Italian Football Federation but on Wednesday a spokesman for the League ended the doubt by saying Catania would play in Serie B next season.

The spokesman said it was not yet clear if Serie B would be made up of 21 clubs next season as some media reports have suggested.

"Our president has stated that Catania have been re-admitted to the Serie B championship," said the spokesman.

If Catania are awarded the extra two points in the standings, Napoli and Venezia would finish level for the last relegation place on 45 points.

Under Football League rules the two teams should then play off to avoid relegation but given the season finished four weeks ago that now looks unlikely.

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change

the subject. -- Winston Churchill

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