Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018

Soccer: Napoli docked two points for attempted Samp 'fix'


Rome, December 18 - An Italian Soccer Federation
(FIGC) tribunal on Tuesday docked Napoli two Serie A points for
their players' alleged involvement in an attempt to fix a match
against Sampdoria in 2010.
Napoli defenders Paolo Cannavaro, the brother of Italy's
retired 2006 World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, and
Gianluca Grava were banned for six months for failing to report
the attempted fix to the authorities.
Former back-up Napoli goalkeeper Matteo Gianello was banned
for three years and three months for the more serious charge of
sporting fraud.
The loss of Cannavaro for the rest of the season - Grava
has not featured so far this season - and the points deduction
represent a massive blow to Napoli's Serie A title hopes.
It takes the Naples side down from joint-third to fifth in
the Serie A standings with 31 points from 17 games, 10 points
behind leaders Juventus.
Napoli - who have been punished for indirect responsibility
for their players' actions, not direct involvement in
match-fixing - issued a statement saying it was not right to
alter the standings in this way in the middle of the
The club's lawyer said it may take legal action to obtain
"(The possibility of legal action) should not be excluded,
on the contrary, I think it will be taken into consideration,"
lawyer Mattia Grassani told Italian radio.
"Napoli has suffered damage in terms of its assets, its
image and its sporting fortunes.
"The club is paying for the behaviour of an ex-player like
Matteo Gianello, who didn't even play one minute in the
2009-2010 season.
"We respond to the decision with great dismay, unease and
protest. It's an unjust sentence".
Gaetano Fedele, an agent representing Cannavaro and Grava,
said the players were innocent.
He added that it was unfair that the pair had been
convicted on the basis of contested testimony Gianello that they
knew about the attempted fix.
"You need proof and there's isn't any because Gianello has
given conflicting statements," Fedele said.
Sampdoria won the match in question, which took place on
May 16 2010 1-0, and qualified for the preliminaries of the
Champions League of the 2010-11 season.
FIGC Prosecutor Stefano Palazzi had requested longer bans
of nine months for Cannavaro and Grava.
The tribunal gave Napoli a harsher punishment than the
one-point penalty Palazzi had requested.
It said this was to be consistent with other recent
match-fixing punishments it has given.
The sporting trial stems from a series of criminal probes
into betting-related match-fixing in Serie A and lower levels of
Italian football.
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.
Four Serie A sides started this season with points deducted
because of their players' involvement - Siena (-6), Atalanta
(-2), Torino (-1) and Sampdoria (-1).
Earlier in December Juventus boss Antonio Conte finished
serving a four-month ban for failing to report a deal to fix a
match during his time at former club Siena.
In October former Bari defender Andrea Masiello was given a
suspended 22-month prison sentence after a plea bargain with
criminal 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.

© Riproduzione riservata

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