June 10, 2007 / 3:30 PM / 12 years ago

Soccer-Napoli and Genoa promoted to Serie A

MILAN, June 10 (Reuters) - Genoa and Napoli were both promoted to Serie A on Sunday after a tense goalless draw on the final day of the season which ended in chaotic scenes.

The game in Genoa was billed as a virtual promotion playoff, but in the end the two sides joined champions Juventus in going up under Italy’s complicated league rules.

The draw meant Napoli finished second on 79 points and Genoa stayed third on 78 points.

Normally only the top two are automatically promoted but as Genoa finished 10 points above fourth-placed Piacenza, who drew 1-1 with Triestina, they took a third automatic spot and avoided the need for playoffs between third, fourth, fifth and sixth.

When the result from Piacenza was confirmed, fans invaded the pitch in Genoa to celebrate even though their match was not finished. Several ecstatic players thought the game had ended and gave away their shirts.

However, the referee said the remaining minute of stoppage time had to be played and once the fans had been cleared from the pitch, club officials had to find spare shirts for some of the players.

The final day clash was a tight affair although Genoa’s Julio Cesar Leon went close twice in the second period.

There had been some trouble before the kick-off but both sets of fans celebrated together at the end.

Both sides have completed successive promotions after the two former Italian champions came up from Italy’s third tier last season following controversial relegations.

Genoa won promotion to Serie A in 2005 but instead were demoted to Serie C1 when they were found guilty of match-fixing.

SSC Napoli were declared bankrupt in 2004 and a new club called Napoli Soccer was formed in the third tier. The club’s name was restored to SSC Napoli last year after they won promotion to Serie B.

Juventus, who secured promotion in May following last season’s demotion for match-fixing, lost 3-2 to La Spezia before being presented with the Serie B championship trophy.

David Trezeguet netted Juve’s first but his future remains in question after a bizarre goal celebration aimed at club bosses where he counted his 15 goals this season on his hands.

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