It is possible Napoli could be thrown out of the Europa League, or disqualified from next season’s Champions League, after they were docked two points today.
The club was docked two points, while Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava were handed six-month bans for failing to report a potential fix to the authorities. The players deny the charges, made by former third-choice goalkeeper Mattia Gianello.
There will be another two stages of the appeals process that Napoli and the players can go through before the sentence becomes definitive.
This could be decisive for their future in Europe as well as Serie A, because the club could be excluded from UEFA competition.
In order to qualify for the Champions League or Europa League, a club “must not have been directly and/or indirectly involved, since the entry into force of Article 50(3) of the UEFA Statutes, i.e. 27 April 2007, in any activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level.”
Gianello made it clear that Napoli were unaware of his attempted fix of a 2010 game against Sampdoria – an attempt that according to him collapsed very quickly when both Cannavaro and Grava turned him down point-blank – but this still involves the club “indirectly.”
It is because of the ‘indirect’ responsibility that Napoli have been docked two Serie A points.
This could affect Napoli’s qualification for next season’s UEFA competition, but plausibly even the current campaign, where they are in the knockouts of the Europa League.