Sunday, 10 June 2007

Genoa enjoy promotion party

Marco Di Vaio and controversial President Enrico Preziosi are celebrating Genoa’s return to Serie A after 12 years.

This afternoon’s 0-0 draw with Napoli saw both teams promoted without the need for play-offs, as Piacenza’s 1-1 result with Triestina left a 10-point gap between third and fourth.

"We had an extraordinary campaign," beamed Di Vaio, who was a January signing from Monaco. "Since my arrival the whole team has been getting better and better. To play in Serie B you need to be focused and I wanted to be convinced, as the club needed a big investment to sign me."

The 0-0 would have seen Genoa enter the play-offs if it weren’t for Piacenza’s stumble, as last week the Grifone incredibly lost 1-0 at 10-man Mantova in stoppages.

"After Mantova I was so upset because I saw that Serie A was so close and yet so far. We wanted it to be a celebration for everyone today, but had to work hard for it."

Genoa have not graced Serie A in 12 years, but their recent past has been even more turbulent. They had secured promotion in 2004-05, but were demoted to Serie C1 at the centre of a match-fixing scandal, found guilty of trying to bribe Venezia to throw a game.

Immediately winning the play-offs against Monza to climb out, with new coach Gian Piero Gasperini they have recaptured the top flight.

"I am so happy," said President Preziosi. "In the last 10 minutes I was watching Piacenza-Triestina on the monitors and trying to curse them across the airwaves!

"This absurd rule of play-offs was about to penalise both clubs, as it is unfair with Juventus in Serie B and naturally dominating. There could have been no better ending than this."

[Napoli & Genoa secure promotion]

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