ROME: Three Serie A clubs – Atalanta, Novara and Siena – are among the 22 clubs ordereed to answer the latest round of charges in the latest match-fixing scandal writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The other clubs named by the Italian football federation were: AlbinoLeffe, Ancona, Ascoli, Avesa, Cremonese, Empoli, Frosinone, Grosseto, Livorno, Modena, Monza, Padova, Pescara, Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggina, Rimini, Sampdoria and Spezia.
The FIGC also said 61 people and 33 matches were under investigation, including 29 in Serie B, although none in Serie A – with the allegations for Atalanta, Novara and Siena stemming from when they played in Serie B in past seasons.
More than 30 people have been arrested in Italy in the past year in the investigation launched by judicial authorities in Cremona, including former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni and former Lazio captain Giuseppe Signori.
Doni was among those named again on Wednesday, while Signori was not. Also named were former Piacenza player Carlo Gervasoni and former Cisco Roma player Alessandro Zamperini, who were allegedly at the center of the match-fixing ring, plus former Inter Milan, Parma, Roma and Ternana defender Luigi Sartor.
Last summer, Doni was banned from football for 3½ years by the federation, and Atalanta – which was promoted to Serie A for this season – was given a six-point penalty. The FIGC inquiry will likely lead to a massive sports trial this summer – just like the one in 2006 that resulted in Juventus being relegated to Serie B and point-penalties for several other top clubs. Juventus was also stripped of the 2005 and 2006 titles.
Over the past year, prosecutors in Cremona have detailed an extensive match-fixing ring stretching as far as Singapore and South America that was allegedly in operation for more than 10 years. More clubs and people could be placed under inquiry once Stefano Palazzi, the FIGC prosecutor, works through documents relating to another wing of the probe based in Bari.
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