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Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri says players must ‘do their duty’ amid off-field turmoil

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Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri urged his team to “do their duty” on the pitch after the Serie A side were docked 15 points by an Italian football court on Friday, leaving them stranded in mid-table.

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The decision, which is a blow to the Turin club’s reputation, is tougher than the nine-point deduction a soccer prosecutor requested during an investigation into Juve’s transfer deal.

With 20 league games left in the season, Juventus were third in Serie A with 37 points, 10 behind leaders Napoli. The points deduction pushes them to 10th place, just outside the qualifying spots for the lucrative European competition.

Juve said it would appeal to the country’s Sports Guarantee Board after the reasons for the decision were published.

“After yesterday’s events, we have to regroup and think only about matters on the pitch,” Allegri told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Serie A match against fifth-placed Atalanta.

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“We don’t have to think about restarting. The legal proceedings are related to the company and there will be an appeal. At the moment we have 22 points and we have to try to earn results and create positions,” says the standings.

“We should continue to do our duty as the sentence is in two months’ term and we should not have any regrets when the verdict comes.”

Allegri said all is not over for Juventus, pointing to the fact they are still alive in this season’s European and domestic cup competitions.

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Allegri said, “I’ve learned that all situations must be turned into opportunities.”

“We have the Europa League, we have the Coppa Italia and we have 60 league points to play for.

“I am confident that the players will do everything to make the most out of the situation. We face a challenge and maybe we will be able to do something extraordinary. Anything is possible in football.”

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Juventus next month will face French club Nantes in the Europa League play-off for a place in the last 16 and face Lazio in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on February 2.

The court also banned 11 past and present Juventus directors from holding positions in Italian football. These included 24 months for Andrea Agnelli, who was replaced as chairman this week after formally stepping down in November.

“Apart from the professional aspect, I am very sorry on a personal level for the disqualification of Andrea Agnelli,” Allegri said.

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