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Juventus Expelled from European Competition

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Weston McKennie and Tim Weah will miss out on the heavily anticipated 2023-24 Europa Conference League campaign from Juventus, as the Old Lady has been handed a one-year ban on European competition by UEFA for violations of financial fair play.

The governing body of the European game announced the penalty for Italy’s historically most successful club on Friday, with the one-year exclusion from European competition being dished out alongside a €20M fine for their infractions.

Half of the fine is conditional upon the organization showing that their financial statements for the next three years comply with UEFA regulations.

Despite the high prestige and mountains of international respect associated of Europe’s third-tier competition, Juventus surprisingly released an announcement shortly after announcing that they will accept the penalty and forgo their chance to play a slate of games in destinations that is even out of Easyjet’s network of forgotten European cities.

“Juventus, while continuing to consider the alleged violations insubstantial and its actions correct, has declared to accept the decision by waiving to appeal, expressly excluding, with the UEFA CFCB acknowledgment, that this may constitute admission of any liability against itself,” the team announced in an official press release.

The team was set to enter the final play-off round of qualification in late-August, but will be replaced by Fiorentina, who narrowly lost the final of the most recent edition of the competition to English club West Ham.

Apart from the obvious lack of motivation for the two-time European champions to participate in a competition that the management and fans likely, albeit mistakenly, see as below their stature, club president Gianluca Ferrero gave a more practical reason for their lack of appeal in the official statement.

“Lodging an appeal, possibly to other levels of judgement, with uncertain outcomes and timing, would increase the uncertainty with respect to our eventual participation in the 2024/25 UEFA Champions League.”

The decision by the team is likely a wise one, as they were already slapped by their domestic ruling body FIGC with a ten-point deduction in the 2022-23 season for an entirely different set of financial infractions, and even the slightest breeze is likely to blow the cover off of further violations.

This effectively eliminates any chance for UMSNT stars Tim Weah and Weston McKennie to face European competition in the black and white stripes in the upcoming season, although the latter could see a change of fortune depending on activity in the ongoing summer transfer window.

McKennie has long been a subject of transfer rumors due to his assumed mid-eight-figure value amidst the seemingly packed Juventus midfield. While his half-season loan at Leeds United did not lead to the €35M transfer that was rumored to be triggered pending the survival of the calamitous English club, he still remains one of the most likely of the Bianconeri to be headed for the exit during the next two months.

Nearby club Atalanta is the most recent rumored destination for the USMNT star, however with McKennie not only joining, but heavily participating in the team’s current US tour, a move away from Turin will likely only be confirmed in the final weeks or days of the transfer window.


Yanks Abroad

Since 2004, Yanks Abroad has been providing coverage of the U.S. national team program and American players plying their trade around the world. We are committed to bringing you breaking news, interviews, and features that keep you in the loop with what's going with the United States in the soccer world.

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