Tax shame: Parma president considers future after Europa League ban

Afriyie Acquah’s Parma have lost its appeal against the Italian Football Federation’s (FIGC) decision to deny it a license to take part in the UEFA Europa League next season.

The Italian Olympic Committee’s (CONI) High Court of Sports Justice ruled to uphold the FIGC’s decision due to Parma paying certain bills late.

The FIGC initially barred Parma from representing Italy in European competition after it failed to pay taxes amounting to approximately €300,000 ($411,000). Parma followed a failed appeal to the FIGC by taking its case to CONI.

The Emilia-Romagna club has since paid the outstanding tax, but the CONI ruled that the initial deadline was ‘not arbitrary’ and that the late payment was ‘inexcusable’.

Parma could still take its case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but it appears Roberto Donadoni’s team is now set to miss out on a place in the 2014-15 Europa League, with Torino poised to take its place.

The decision prompted Parma president Tommaso Ghirardi to consider his future at the club as he lambasted the verdict.

He told Parma’s official website: ‘I am very bitter about this sporting system and even more after this decision. This time it is really big. Maybe they managed to make me leave the world of football.’

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