Italian soccer giants Juventus have been warned they face expulsion from the country’s top-tier Serie A if they remain committed to the European Super League project.
The Turin outfit was one of 12 clubs across the continent that signed up to the controversial breakaway competition, and is maintaining its support for the plan even though nine of the other teams swiftly withdrew.
Uefa, European soccer’s governing body, is prepared to impose sanctions against Juventus and Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona over their continued involvement in the Super League.
Meanwhile, Gabriele Gravina, the president of the FIGC, the Italian soccer federation, has clarified that Juventus are in danger of being banished from domestic competitions.
The federation last month approved a new clause to be inserted into its rules stating that clubs registering for national leagues must clearly agree not to join private, unauthorised competitions, or they would be banned.
In a radio interview on Monday, Gravina said: “If Juventus does not respect the rules they will be out. At the time of registration for the next Serie A championship the club will be excluded if they decide not to withdraw from the Super League."
Juventus have won a record 36 Serie A titles, including the last nine.
At the weekend, Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona issued a joint statement defending their involvement in the Super League, and hitting out at “pressures and threats” being imposed by Uefa.
The nine clubs that pulled out have recommitted to Uefa club competitions while agreeing to sanctions including a combined donation of €15 million ($18.2 million) to youth and grassroots soccer, and the withholding of 5 per cent of revenue they would have received from the competitions for one season.
The group comprises Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur of England, AC Milan and Inter Milan of Italy and Atletico Madrid of Spain.
Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona are facing harsher penalties, including potential bans from the Champions League.
However, Gravina wants the situation to be resolved without further conflict, saying: “We are all a bit tired of this tug-of-war between Uefa and these three clubs. I hope this dispute can be resolved as soon as possible. I hope to be able to mediate between Juventus and Uefa.
"The rules foresee the non-participation in our championship if the principles established by the federation and Uefa are not accepted. It's not good for international football, Italian football, Juventus. We have already said that the football association respects the rules."
While saying that they are prepared to “reconsider the proposed approach” on the Super League, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus claimed it would be “highly irresponsible” of them to abandon the project, which they see as necessary to address the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and ensure soccer appeals to young audiences in the future.
Juventus already face a challenge to qualify for next season’s Champions League as they currently lie fifth in Serie A, with only the top four guaranteed places in the competition, and only three rounds of matches to go.