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Serie B could be extended from 19 to 22 teams eight games into season

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Three clubs may be added to Italy's second-tier Serie B eight games into the season after the regional administrative tribunal of the state of Lazio (TAR) ruled the Italian FA were wrong to reduce the league to 19 clubs in the summer.

Following the bankruptcies of Avellino, Bari and Cesena during the summer, the Italian FA decided to block clubs bidding to be reinstated in the league and instead ordered the season to go ahead with just 19 rather than 22 clubs.

Catania, Novara, Pro Vercelli, Siena and Ternana -- who all felt they had a right to play in Serie B this season -- presented appeals to the TAR last month, after similar appeals to the sporting courts had been rejected; but they have now been upheld with the TAR ruling on Wednesday that the FIGC's decision to block the reinstatement of clubs was inadmissible.

As a result, the FIGC must now decide how to proceed. Reinstating three clubs and inserting their fixtures into a league which is already a fifth of the way through its season is one option, although they could instead agree on compensation packages with the clubs whose appeals were successful, leaving them in the third division.

Entella have only played one game in the third-tier Lega Pro this season as they awaited the outcome of their appeal, while Catania have played six games, Novara and Ternana five and Vercelli four of the current Lega Pro season.

Reinstatement could have a domino effect, with clubs from lower leagues lining up to fill the positions of those promoted to Serie B, while the results from fixtures already involving those sides would have to be voided.

The FIGC and Lega Serie B are holding emergency meetings to discuss the matter on Thursday, aimed at finding a resolution as soon as possible.

The next round of league games are due to take place this weekend, with Entella's trip to Piacenza and Catania's clash with Viterbese already postponed.