SERIE A: Chief of police hints more Serie A dirty secrets to come out


Thu, Oct 11, 2012 - Page 19

Italian soccer’s sporadic affair with match-fixing and corruption may be about to reveal more dirty secrets, according to the country’s chief of police on Tuesday.

Italy’s Serie A league, once considered one of the best in the world, has been rocked by several affairs involving players, coaches, officials and betting rings in the past several years.

Current league leaders and champions Juventus were stripped of the titles they won in 2005 and 2006 because of their role in a match-fixing affair.

Earlier this year the Italian national team’s plans to start Euro 2012 on a high note were upset when several clubs and players were snared in a sports-betting affair which led to sanctions for both coaches and players.

Italian chief of police Antonio Manganelli says more revelations could be on the way, according to ANSA.

Manganelli, speaking at an Interpol conference in Rome, gave no details, but said: “Other developments could be on the way and they will give us more answers, answers that could be even more sensational.”

Juventus head coach Antonio Conte is currently serving a touchline ban for failing to disclose knowledge of rigged matches during his time at Siena in the 2010-2011 season.

Conte’s 10-month ban was last week reduced to four months on appeal.

However, prosecutors up and down the country have been digging to get to the bottom of several affairs which involve betting rings, players, officials and middlemen.

Last week former Bari footballer Andrea Masiello and two associates were given suspended prison terms for their role in fixing several Serie A matches.

Masiello hit the headlines at the end of the previous season when it was revealed he had accepted cash to deflect the ball into his own net in a derby against Lecce.

Bari had already been virtually relegated, but the goal secured victory, and Serie A survival, for Lecce.

Last week Serie A club Napoli also came under scrutiny after the country’s Finance Police raided the club in relation to suspicions of financial foul play.

The raid was carried out by Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, a wing of the armed forces which deals with financial crime and smuggling, and comes under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Police took away a number of documents from the club which relate to an investigation into transfers.