Marco Materazzi Is Not The Worst Guy In Italian Soccer

The gigantic Italian soccer scandal has finally reached a resolution, with the Italian Football Federsation's prosecutor ruling that three clubs, Juventus, Fiorentina, and Lazio, will be demoted from Italian Serie A to Serie B. And another team, AC Milan, will be starting next season with a fifteen-point deduction in the standings. Juventus is also being stripped of their 2005 and 2006 league title, and will start next year's Serie B season with a 30-point deduction, which means that they'll be in Serie B for the 2007 season as well.

Unable to make the transition to a lesser league as smoothly as Ricky Williams, a lot of players on these clubs are going to want out, which means we're probably about to see a flurry of big-name transfers. Among the studs available will likely be Alessandro Nesta, David Trezeguet, Mauro Camoranesi, Gianluca Zambrotta, Pavel Nedved, Patrick Viera, Lilian Thuram, Luca Toni and World Cup stud goalie Gianluigi Buffon. The BBC Sport site has put together a handly little list of what players are rumored to be heading where. In summary, the rich clubs of the English Premiership (the season's just over a month away) are about to get a hell of a lot richer.

Juventus president Cobolli Gigli plans to appeal the verdict, calling it "unheard of." Unfortunately for him, also unheard of is the depth of the cheating in which Juventus participated. Fans are taking to the streets, too, gathering in protests that have been (somewhat shockingly) peaceful. I've got to think that if they didn't know, at least on some subconscious level, that they deserved their punishments, they'd be turning over cars and setting things on fire.

English clubs prepare Italy swoop [BBC Sport]
Angry fans take to the streets after verdicts [Soccernet]
Shamed Serie A clubs to appeal scandal verdict [Soccernet]