ROME: Hristiyan Ilievski, a Macedonian who is the suspected leader of a gang which masterminded matchfixing throughout Italian football, has reportedly surrendered to police.
Ilievski, on the run since 2011, was allegedly the leader of criminal gang nicknamed the Zingari (the gypsies) who were the focus of a major investigation led by prosecutors in Cremona.
The investigation probe led to a series of bans and fines for players involved and its consequences could continue acording to judicial sources quoted by national news agency ANSA.
Italy coach Antonio Conte faces possible indictment for sporting fraud for allegedly failing to report match-fixing during his spell at the helm of second-tier Siena in 2010-2011.
Among a further 130 facing possible charges are Lazio captain Stefano Mauri, former Atalanta skipper and Italy international Cristiano Doni and former Lazio and Italy striker Beppe Signori, for alleged conspiracy.
Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono is also facing possible charges in the match-fixing case. He is under investigation with former captain Doni for allegedly fixing a Serie B match at Crotone on April 22, 2011.
Conte has already served a ban inflicted by the Italian Soccer Federation in connection with the Cremona-based ‘Last Bet’ criminal probe.
The ban was cut from 10 months to four on appeal at the start of the 2012-2013 season, and had little impact on Juve’s triumphant run to the second of their three straight scudettos under the inspirational former Juve and Italy all-action midfielder.
Former Bari defender Andrea Masiello, one of the players at the centre of the scandal, was given a suspended 22-month prison sentence in October 2012 after a plea bargain with prosecutors.
Masiello, who was banned from soccer by a sporting tribunal, admitted to deliberately scoring an own goal to ensure Bari lost 2-0 to Lecce in the 2010-11 campaign, when they were relegated to Serie B.
A Bari court found the 26-year-old guilty of criminal association and sporting fraud regarding the fixing of four matches.