Sun, Jun 10, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Promoted Parma under spotlight for alleged fix attempt

AFP, ROME

Newly promoted Parma are under investigation for an alleged attempt to fix the match that sealed their incredible rise from financial collapse to Serie A in just three years, reports said yesterday.

Italian sports daily Gazzetta Dello Sport said that the Italian Football Federation is probing claims that two Parma players sent text messages to players from Spezia ahead of their clash on the final day of the Serie B season, in which the Gazzetta claims they asked their opponents not to try too hard.

A 2-0 win at Spezia on May 18 saw the two-time UEFA Cup winners promoted to the top division just three years after a financial meltdown led to relegation from Serie A and rebirth in the semi-professional Serie D.

Just a year earlier, Roberto Donadoni had led Parma to sixth place in Serie A and a spot in the Europa League, but late payment of income tax on salaries saw them stripped of their place by the Italian Olympic Committee.

The Gazzetta and Corriere Dello Sport wrote that the investigation into the match is still in the preliminary phase. Attempts to contact the federation were met with no reply.

One of the Parma players alleged to have sent the text messages to his Spezia counterparts, Fabio Ceravolo, scored the match’s opener after 11 minutes.

Parma’s promotion was sealed when Amato Ciciretti scored a second just after the hour and Foggia, who like Spezia had nothing to play for, scored a last-minute equalizer at promotion-chasing Frosinone.

Foggia’s leveler allowed Parma to move level on points with Frosinone and pip them to second place and their third promotion in as many years thanks to a better head-to-head record.

Spezia fans reacted furiously to their team’s display after the match, directing particular anger toward former Italian international and ex-Parma player Alberto Gilardino, who smashed a penalty for Spezia high and wide with the hosts still only a goal down.

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