José Mourinho Calls Out Juventus Point Penalty
Roma manager José Mourinho has called out the timing of Juventus’ 10-point penalty, which was handed down earlier this week. The penalty has dropped Juventus from second place to seventh place in Serie A and has practically made it impossible for the Italian giants to qualify for next year’s Champions League.
The announcement came mere minutes before Juve’s matchup with Empoli, which Empoli won 4-1.
Mourinho was critical of the timing of the announcement, which happened with only two games remaining in the season.
“It’s a joke to know this with two games remaining,” Mourinho told DAZN, via ESPN. “For us and everyone, even for Juventus. Our approach would have been different if we had known before the games with Monza and Bologna.”
Mourinho made these comments following a 2-2 draw with Salernitana. Roma is now in sixth place, one point behind fifth-place Atalanta and four points off of fourth-place AC Milan. Teams that finish in the top four of the league qualify for the Champions League.
This is the second time that Juventus has been hit with a point penalty this season. The first penalty came in January when Massimiliano Allegri’s side was initially hit with a 15-point penalty by the Italian Football Federation. The point deduction came after an investigation into the transfer dealings of the Bianconeri that found the club fixed their balance sheets by inflating transfer fees.
Along with the point deduction, several members of Juventus’ former board were also given suspensions, including former president Andrea Agnelli who was a key player in the attempted creation of the European Super League.
Juventus has denied these allegations and appealed the initial point penalty to the country’s highest sports court within the Italian Olympic Committee. The penalty was suspended and the case was sent back to the soccer federation’s appeals court.
The new trial happened on Monday and Juventus was handed its new 10-point penalty.
Juve now has 59 points instead of their previous 69 points. For the club to make the Champions League, they will have to win their last two games against AC Milan and Udinese, while hoping other results go their way.
The frustrating thing about this point penalty is the timing. Announcing a point deduction such as this with only two games not only impacts Juventus but also the rest of the league. This is why Mourinho has spoken out against the timing of the federation’s ruling.
“I am sorry for [Massimiliano] Allegri and his players, but at the league level, I have to say that it changes things a little,” Mourinho said.
What It Means
The race to qualify for the Champion’s League is now wide open. Napoli already qualified as champions of Serie A while Lazio has qualified on points. Inter, AC Milan, Atalanta, Roma and Juventus are all now vying for the final two Champions League spots.
The penalty has given Inter, AC Milan and Atalanta a real shot at finishing in the top four. Roma and Juventus, while still in the race, are likely going to be battling for a Europa or Conference League spot.
It is going to be very interesting to see who can capitalize on Juve’s point penalty in the final two games. Inter vs. Atalanta and Juve vs. AC Milan could prove to be decisive fixtures this upcoming weekend.
However, whatever happens, the frustration that this ruling has caused for Juventus and the rest of the league is clear for all to see.
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