Sabato, 22 Settembre 2018

Soccer: Match-fixing hero Farina joins Aston Villa


(ANSA) - London, October 17 - Simone Farina, the footballer
who blew the whistle on Italy's latest match-fixing scandal, has
joined Aston Villa to take up a community coaching role, the
Birmingham club said Wednesday.
Farina has been hailed as a 'moral champion' for refusing
an alleged bribe of 200,000 euros in November 2011 when he was
at then Serie B side Gubbio to help fix an Italian Cup match
against Cesena.
Instead he went straight to the police and information he
provided helped investigators uncover a huge web of
betting-related match-fixing.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli rewarded the 30-year-old Roman
with a symbolic call-up up to the national team and he was the
guest of honour at this year's Ballon d'Or ceremony, at which
FIFA President Sepp Blatter named him a FIFA fair-play
"I know I did the right thing when I refused to get
involved in the fixing of a football game," former defender
Farina, who had been out of work since leaving Gubbio by mutual
consent at the end of last season, told Villa's website.
"I went to the authorities because this corruption had to
be brought to the surface. This level of deception has no place
in football or in any walk of life.
"The opportunity here at Villa is perfect for me. It is
also very satisfying to see the technical development of the
children and their enjoyment of the game. This is what the game
is all about really.
"I feel very happy in the Birmingham area as the people
here have been great and my family are very happy, too. This is
important to me, of course.
"But it is also important to me that I continue to work in
football and that I am able to pass on my knowledge because
football is an inspirational game.
"A year ago I did not see my life moving in this direction
but I am really delighted to be able now to contribute in this
The move was applauded by Interpol, who helped investigate
the match-fixing and have links with Villa.
"Simone Farina is a football defender both on and off the
pitch," said Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
"He showed integrity and courage by turning down and
reporting to the police an attempted bribe to corrupt the
outcome of a match; he needs to become just as important a role
model for our youth like stars such as Lionel Messi or Cristiano
Over 40 people have been arrested since the Cremona-based
'Last Bet' criminal probe went public last year, leading
sporting prosecutors to look at the case.
They include Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri and former
Italy internationals Beppe Signori and Cristiano Doni.
Juventus boss Antonio Conte is currently serving a
four-month ban for failing report a deal to fix a match during
his time at former club Siena.
Former Bari defender Andrea Masiello, meanwhile, was this
month given a suspended 22-month prison sentence after a plea
bargain with prosecutors.
Masiello, who had already been 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
The new case has rocked the Italian soccer world again
after Juventus were relegated and stripped of two Serie A titles
for involvement in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal in 2006.
That scandal regarded schemes to have compliant referees
officiate some teams' matches.

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