Vlahovic and Bonucci look to rally Juventus after points deduction

By Sports Desk January 21, 2023

Dusan Vlahovic and Leonardo Bonucci aimed to rally the troops after Juventus were served with a 15-point deduction.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) confirmed on Friday that Juve would be punished in the wake of an investigation into the club's past transfer dealings.

Ex-Juve director Fabio Paratici – who is now at Tottenham – as well as former chairman Andrea Agnelli were also handed long bans from Italian football.

The deduction has seen Juve drop from third to 10th ahead of Sunday's meeting with Atalanta, which had been set to be a tussle between two teams embroiled in a fight for Champions League qualification.

But Vlahovic, a big-money acquisition from Fiorentina last year, had a bullish message.

"We are not afraid of losing a few points," the 22-year-old posted on Instagram. 

"We are not afraid of rolling our sleeves up. We are not afraid of our opponents. We must not be afraid of anything.

"Because when they think we have fallen, we'll get back up stronger than ever.

"This is us, this is Juventus."

Captain Bonucci had a similar message.

He posted on Instagram: "Juventus are like a seven-headed dragon: cut one off and another will always emerge. She never gives up."

Related items

  • Government backs all 10 recommendations in Karen Carney’s review of women’s game Government backs all 10 recommendations in Karen Carney’s review of women’s game

    The Government has given its backing to the recommendations in ex-England midfielder Karen Carney’s review of domestic women’s football, stressing the need to “collectively seize the moment and deliver sustained commercial success”.

    After the independent review, titled ‘Raising The Bar: Reframing the opportunity in women’s football’, was commissioned in September 2022 and published in July, the Government has issued its official response, in which it agrees that all 10 of the strategic recommendations should be actioned.

    In its efforts to help drive things forward, it is to convene an “implementation group” of the Football Association, NewCo – the new independent body set to run the Women’s Super League and Championship from 2024-25 – and other stakeholders, which will assemble in March and July next year.

    The review was commissioned shortly after England won the Women’s Euros on home soil, and the Lionesses subsequently finished as runners-up at this year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

    Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “I’d like to thank Karen for her detailed review which has delivered a clear blueprint for the future of women’s football from the grassroots up to the elite level.

    “We must collectively seize the moment and deliver sustained commercial success for the women’s game, and fully support the FA and NewCo to drive forward the full professionalisation of the game.”

    Carney said: “I’m encouraged that the Government is providing their full backing to my review and renewing their commitment to develop women’s football in the UK and fulfil its potential to be a world-beating sport. The real work begins now.”

    The creation of a fully professional environment in the top two tiers is one of the key recommendations in Carney’s report.

    Within it’s backing in this area, the Government says it supports the introduction of a minimum ‘salary floor’ in the WSL from 2025-26 and in the Championship once revenues allow, the phasing in of increased contact time as part of licence criteria for second-tier clubs, formal union representation across both tiers, and a centrally-funded unit focusing on research for issues affecting female players.

    With regard to the review’s call in this recommendation for the provision of “gold standard physical and mental health provision”, the Government said it felt the FA could have gone further in terms of changes made to medical licence criteria this season, and that it was “disappointed that the FA has not mandated clubs to recruit sport and exercise psychologists”.

    It added that it had “had discussions with the FA, and have set out our expectation for them to fully consider the recommendation around medical licensing uplifts for the 2024-25 season.”

    The review called for a dedicated broadcast slot, and the Government’s response on this included its view that “revoking Article 48 (the Saturday 3pm blackout) for women’s football alone is one viable option.”

    The response also emphasised the importance of the FA and Newco appointing a new strategic partner “committed to fully investing in building a sustainable talent pathway for girls”.

    It said on the topic of diversity in the women’s game that it “fully supports the sector as it moves to become more inclusive”, and welcomed the recent news of the Women’s FA Cup’s prize fund doubling for 2023-24 to £6million.

    It also said it would continue to drive forward equal access for girls and increase transparency on funding following its announcement in March of a £600m package to boost school sport, and highlighted last week’s announcement of a new £30m fund to deliver artificial pitches at grassroots sites designed to prioritise women’s and girls’ teams.

    As well as the implementation group, the Government will also establish a Board of Women’s Sports in the new year in a bid to accelerate growth beyond women’s football.

  • England likely to be without star names in Euro 2024 build-up – Gareth Southgate England likely to be without star names in Euro 2024 build-up – Gareth Southgate

    England manager Gareth Southgate is gearing up to be without a number of star names in his Euro 2024 build-up.

    The 23-man squad is likely to include players who will feature in the Champions League final on June 1 at Wembley, just 15 days before their Group C opener against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen.

    Southgate faced a similar difficulty before the inaugural Nations League finals in 2019, when seven players arrived late after Liverpool beat Tottenham in the Champions League final.

    There were similar headaches ahead of the last Euros as Chelsea and Manchester City contested the 2021 Champions League final, but Southgate insisted it was just an occupational hazard he would have to cope with.

    “You would love to have all of the players for all of the preparation camps, but that’s not our reality,” Southgate said.
    “We’ve dealt with that in the past, so we know what it needs to look like.

    “It’s important they get some sort of psychological break in between but, of course, the longer they play, the less you can give them is the reality.

    “What we’ve got to do now is, now we know the draw, look at the opponents for those (warm-up) games again a bit more clearly.”

    England have already confirmed March warm-up friendlies against Brazil and Belgium at Wembley.

    The Euro 2020 runners-up are understood to be planning two further friendlies on home soil against as yet unspecified opposition.

  • Callum McGregor excited at chance to open Euro 2024 against hosts Germany Callum McGregor excited at chance to open Euro 2024 against hosts Germany

    Scotland midfielder Callum McGregor is relishing the prospect of opening Euro 2024 against the hosts.

    Steve Clarke’s side will kick off the tournament on June 14 against Germany at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

    Scotland will also take on Hungary and Switzerland in Group A following Saturday’s draw in Hamburg.

    McGregor said: “It was great watching the draw. We have three really good teams and it’s a strong group.

    “When you get to a tournament that’s what you want to do, you want to be against the best teams and that’s what we’ll do in the opening game against Germany.

    “It doesn’t come much bigger than that as an occasion and everyone is looking forward to it.”

    Scotland opened the 1998 World Cup with a 2-1 defeat by Brazil at the Stade de France in their most recent major tournament on foreign soil.

    Celtic captain McGregor said: “I don’t remember the 1998 game as such but I have heard people talking about it.

    “It’s going to be such a brilliant occasion opening the whole tournament.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.