Football: Fiorentina plan appeal against Uefa exclusion

ITALIAN FOOTBALL authorities and supporters were torn between anger and relief after the decision by Uefa's disciplinary committee to disqualify the Serie A club, Fiorentina, from this year's Uefa Cup.

The measure was taken to punish the Florence club for the incident at their match against the Swiss team, Grasshopper Zurich, last week, when a giant firecracker was thrown on to the field, injuring an assistant referee. According to European football's ruling body, Fiorentina were responsible for security, even though the match was held at Salerno, not Florence.

The news of the disqualification came as Fiorentina fans were celebrating having knocked Juventus off the top of the table. Sunday's 4-1 victory over Venezia leaves them heading Serie A with 18 points, with Juventus second on 17. Fiorentina's Argentinian striker Gabriel Batistuta struck twice to take his tally to 10 goals in eight matches.

After hearing the Uefa verdict in Geneva, Fiorentina's general manager, Luciano Luna, claimed that, while the sentence was tough, it recognised a key point - that Fiorentina were the victim of the device, thrown from the stands occupied by Salernitana fans. Had it not been for that extenuating circumstance, Fiorentina could have been banned for several years. In its verdict, though, Uefa referred to precedents of violence by Florentine fans during European matches.

"The sentence is absurd, bitter, heavy, but it won't destroy the desire of Fiorentina for justice, for truth... because it recognises that Fiorentina were the object of the attack. That will be the starting point for the next sentence, the definitive one," read a leading article in the sports newspaper Corriere dello Sport.

Another paper, La Gazzetta dello Sport, under the headline "Florence joy and rage", took a more conciliatory stand. "The innocence of a single episode was not enough to save Fiorentina from being held responsible in the nasty world of thuggery that forms the background to the epidosde at Salerno," said a front-page leader. "An appeal should be supported in every way, but for those who love Fiorentina the nightmare is over".

While there is no historic rivalry between Fiorentina and Salernitana, fans of the teams came to blows during a match in Florence last month which Fiorentina won 4-0. Many feel the incident was part of a desire among the Salerno hooligan element to "get even".

Fiorentina's lawyer, Nino d'Avirro, said: "We can't allow a criminal to win." He also announced that the club's appeal will be made before Thursday and possibly heard next weekend. "It's a problem of objective responsibility," he insisted. "We must prove that [the attack] was something unpredictable, because it was the act of a nutter."

Life and Style
health

Do you qualify – and how do you get it?

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
i100
News
Privately schooled, Oxford educated and a former editor of arguably the world's poshest magazine 'The Lady', it's perhaps unsurprising that Rachel Johnson rarely mixes with ordinary Proles.
people

The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Environment
The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
environmentNepenthes zygon had been growing for almost a decade and helping to keep down cockroaches
News
This artist impression shows a modern-day Atlantis
news
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £20,000

£12000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...

Langley James : IT Helpdesk Technician; earn £'s for Xmas; Brighton; £120+ p/d

£120 - £130 per day: Langley James : IT Helpdesk Technician; earn £'s for Xmas...

Recruitment Genius: Junior SEO / Content Executive

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior SEO/ORM Content Execut...

Recruitment Genius: Search Account Manager

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital