ROME (AFP) –
Serie A champions Juventus could be set for a row with league and federation bosses, if plans to embroider their shirt emblems with a third star to symbolise a 30th league championship win come to fruition.
Even before Juventus secured their 28th league crown last week the Turin-based club were insisting they would soon be celebrating their 30th championship triumph.
After their decisive 2-0 win at Cagliari on Sunday Juventus players drank from bottles of champagne brazenly labelled with the number 30. The club’s official website also claims the team have won 30 Serie A titles.
Officially, though, Juve have won only 28 titles having been stripped of the two they won in 2005 and 2006 following their involvement in the “Calciopoli” match-fixing scandal which implicated a number of top referees.
Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, 37, has stoked the embers by promising “a surprise” would appear on next season’s kit.
While some interpret that to mean they will appear with a third star on their club badge next season, Italian football federation (FIGC) chief Giancarlo Abete says he is unmoved.
“If it becomes a problem, the Federation will respond in accordance with the rules and the history of all clubs,” he said.
French legend Michel Platini, the president of European football’s ruling body UEFA and a former Juventus player in the 1980s, told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper: “It’s a problem for the Italians.”
Some regard the campaign as an attempt by Agnelli, scion of the Fiat car dynasty who took over the club presidency from his father Umberto, to woo Juventus fans in what is only his second year in charge.
Others seem happy to accept the 2005-2006 sanctions as reality.
Juve coach Antonio Conte said: “How many titles? It’s number one for me.”
Veteran goalkeeper and team captain Gianluigi Buffon was more evasive, saying simply: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Although Juve striker Alessandro Del Piero claimed: “… the star is in our hearts, we won these titles on the pitch”, he admitted that “we have to respect the authorities’ decision”.
It was 37-year-old Del Piero’s final season at the club.