Atalanta risk points deduction in betting probe

ROME - Promoted Serie A side Atalanta are waiting to discover if they face a seven-point deduction for the start of the season as an Italian football federation hearing into illegal betting completes its initial phase on Friday.

The federation prosecutor has recommended the club receive the points deduction after a police probe into players making illegal bets and manipulating results.

A committee must agree to the prosecutor's request before the sanction comes into force and a ruling may arrive in the coming days after initial legal arguments are completed on Friday.

The Bergamo-based side look set to avoid a demotion because they still won promotion from Serie B last term, suggesting games were not thrown.

Atalanta captain and former Italy midfielder Cristiano Doni risks a three-and-a-half-year ban for his alleged involvement in betting.

Several other lower league clubs and current and former Serie A players such as ex-Lazio and Italy striker Giuseppe Signori are also waiting to hear their fate.

Fellow top flight side Chievo have agreed to a plea bargain of a fine to avoid further punishment after the probe also focused on them.

Italian football had only just recovered from a 2006 match-fixing scandal which led to Juventus being demoted.

The once mighty club have struggled to rediscover their former glory and they are yet to announce a sponsor for their new stadium despite it opening next month.