Three Serie A clubs to answer for match-fixing

Three Serie A clubs to answer for match-fixing

ROME - The Associated Press
Three Serie A clubs to answer for match-fixing

Siena’s Marcelo Larrondo (back) and Atalanta’s Thomas Manfredini jump for a ball during a game. The two clubs will answer a match-fixing probe. AP photo

Serie A clubs Atalanta, Novara and Siena were among the 22 Italian teams notified on Wednesday that they will have to answer to sports authorities in a massive match-fixing scandal.

The other clubs named by the Italian football federation (FIGC) 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 probe started 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.

Novara will be relegated to Serie B after this season.

Atalanta, Novara, Siena