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Serie B to continue with 19 teams after FIGC ruling

Serie B will continue with 19 teams after an appeal by five clubs who hoped to gain access to the division was rejected by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).

The start to the 2018-19 Serie B season has been chaotic after financial issues at Bari, Avellino and Cesena saw those clubs unable to take their places.

Catania, Novara, Ternana, Pro Vercelli and Siena appealed to be installed as replacements but the FIGC confirmed on Monday they have been rejected.

A brief statement from the FIGC said the body's Federal National Court has ruled Serie B will carry on with 19 teams, ending confusion for a number of teams.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) initially dismissed the appeal from the five Serie C clubs but the regional administrative court of Lazio suspended CONI's ruling.

There was then further confusion as president of Lega Serie B Franco Frattini said the matches would be postponed under a decision was reached, but his comments were swiftly denied by the league.

The clubs involved in the FIGC appeal will now have to play catch-up with their rivals as they have not been playing Serie C games.