Thursday January 17 2013
De La: 'Victory for Italian football'

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis declared today’s match-fixing appeal verdict as “a victory for all of Italian football and for justice.”

The Partenopei had their two-point penalty quashed, while Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava’s six-month bans were revoked.

“I am undoubtedly very happy. This is not just a victory for Napoli, but for all of Italian football and for justice,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“I believed and continue to believe in justice. I thank the judges who listened to us and debated for many hours. At the end of the day, innocence makes justice great. It was a right and equal sentence.”

Not only are Cannavaro and Grava available again after a month in the stands, but Napoli now move up to joint second with Lazio and are only three points adrift of leaders Juventus.

“In my mind we always did have that position with the points that we earned on the pitch. The sporting justice system is making giant steps forward, but still needs to adapt to the times. I am happy for Grava, Cannavaro and all the fans, as nobody deserved this infamy.”

Back in the Scudetto race, De Laurentiis responded to Arsene Wenger’s interest in striker Edinson Cavani.

“He is a great player and always gave 100 per cent, even when we were docked two points. I hope he will remain for a long time at Napoli, as he can become a symbol to identify this club.

“Now we go forward game after game and towards the end of March will see where we are. We’ll lift our head and try to fight for the best possible objective.”